We need to talk.
I’ve noted a few times how odd it is that the YES Network (Simpleton Summer Camp) is constantly pushing Miguel Andujar as the should be American League Rookie of the Year. I get that it’s their job to an extent to pump up their own guy, but I can’t get past how he’s not even the best rookie on his own team, let alone in the AL. Gleyber Torres is a better, more valuable player than Andujar is, period – I find it odd he doesn’t get the same push…But if the folks over at Simpleton Summer Camp are anything, they’re odd and incompetent (David Cone excluded, of course).
Put a pin in that, we’ll come back to it.
What we always hear, and see with our own eyes is how Andujar’s defense is lacking…how should I say…the ability to catch and throw the ball. There, I said it. He’s a bad 3rd baseman. We all see it, we all know it.
But do you? I don’t think so. I don’t think you realize HOW bad he is. I sure didn’t.
Among 20 MLB 3rd basemen with enough innings to qualify, he’s 20th according to Fangraphs’ defensive runs saved at a -14.3. You think being 14 runs worse than average is bad? Consider this: Evan Longoria is the 2nd worst and he comes in at -4.1.
Andujar literally costs the Yankees three times more runs than the next worst 3rd baseman in all of baseball. I have to pause to let that waft over me.
In runs saved by range (or lack thereof in his case) Andujar is also dead last, this time only twice as bad as the 2nd worst: -11 to Colin Moran’s – 5.2. (Wipes brow…)
He’s not just the worst 3rd baseman in baseball, he’s the worst by far.
“Ah, he’s just a rookie, give him time,” you say? HA!
Since expansion (almost 60 seasons) there have been 149 qualifying rookie 3B. Andujar is 147th in dWAR among that group. And no, the others who were similarly as bad didn’t improve, they were moved to other positions. See Braun, Ryan. See also; Castellanos, Nick.
OK, so he could be Rookie of the Year if he hit like Mike Schmidt. He does not.
His OPS+ is about the same as Torres (123 to 121) and a mile behind Shohei Ohtani’s 158.
According to Baseball Prospectus’ WARP he’s 6th (SIXTH) among AL rookies, behind Joey Wendle, Ohtani, Torres, Max Stassi and someone named Shane Bieber. According to Baseball Reference’s WAR he’s 5th among AL rookies again behind Wendle, Torres and Ohtani plus Oakland’s Roman Laureano as well.
I don’t know who the AL Rookie of the Year is. What I do know is that it isn’t Miguel Andujar – not close. I also know that he isn’t the best rookie on the Yankees.
I like him. Dude can rake and he’s fun to watch. And I crack up when Cone calls him Miggy two bags.
But his future is at first base or in left field.
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