TAMPA, Fla. — During the idle time of spring training, Miguel Andujar pulls out his cellphone and calls up a video. He has seen this footage already, but if he wants to fulfill his dream of becoming one of baseball’s elite third basemen, he needs to keep watching and emulating.
Andujar, who turned 24 on Saturday, wants to field like Nolan Arenado, Alex Bregman and Manny Machado. And more than anything, he wants to be like his hero, Adrian Beltre, another third baseman, who recently retired after a distinguished 21-year career that included five Gold Gloves and four All-Star appearances.
“I love the way he throws the ball and positions himself on defense,” Andujar said in Spanish after a recent afternoon at the Yankees’ spring training site. “And how he prepares before a pitch, in the ready position and with a little hop.”
There are several reasons the Yankees did not seriously pursue Machado during his high-profile free agency. They wanted to spread money around on various improvements, rather than spending in a single chunk, and Machado’s 10-year 0 million contract with the San Diego Padres proved to be the second-largest free-agent deal in North American sports history.
Beyond money, there was also the fact that the team already possessed a talented young third baseman in Andujar, who finished second in the American League rookie of the year voting last season despite his defensive warts.
“We recognize there are players playing all around the game that might be better than what we have here, but that’s fine too,” Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman said recently. “You can’t have them all.”
He added later: “The product is a strong one. And we want it to be the best it possibly can be. If it’s not good enough, judge me on my recommendations to ownership.”
And long before the Yankees decided not to formally make an offer to Machado, they were already working to improve Andujar’s defense.
Andujar’s talent, particularly at the plate, is undeniable — and was so even as early as 2011, when he signed with the Yankees at 16 out of his native Dominican Republic. Last season, the Yankees had planned to have Brandon Drury at third base, but Andujar took over the job through a combination of injuries to others and his own performance.
In 149 games, Andujar posted an .855 on-base-plus-slugging percentage and hit .297, topped only by the Washington Nationals star Anthony Rendon among major league third baseman. Andujar’s 27 homers and 92 runs batted in trailed only Giancarlo Stanton on the Yankees.
But in the field, Andujar was shaky. While he committed 15 errors — and last year’s A.L. Gold Glove winner at the position, Oakland’s Matt Chapman, was charged with 20 — Andujar struggled in other regards. Advanced defensive metrics rated him the worst fielding third baseman among those with at least 900 innings last season. In the do-or-die Game 4 of the A.L. divisional series against the Boston Red Sox, Yankees Manager Aaron Boone opted for Neil Walker at third base instead of Andujar.
“He exceeded his developmental projections, on defense especially,” Cashman said of Andujar. “We just have to give him time and be patient and give him the chance to close those gaps. The old adage of ‘Where there’s a will, there’s a way,’ and he has a lot of will.”
So to enact all the desired changes for this season, the Yankees and Andujar recognized that he needed extra instruction over the winter.
A month after the Yankees were knocked out of the playoffs by the Red Sox in October, Andujar spent a few days with Boone and the Yankees’ infield instructor, Carlos Mendoza, both former infielders, at the Yankees’ complex in Tampa.
Afterward, Andujar returned to the Dominican Republic and continued his off-season training with private trainers to improve his agility. In January, Mendoza and Boone, on a trip to see several Yankees players, worked with Andujar at the Yankees’ academy and checked on his progress.
The Yankees zeroed in on two areas for Andujar: how he throws the ball and how he uses his feet.
They saw that Andujar had a tendency to throw sidearm. That is fine when charging a chopping ground ball or throwing from an awkward angle. But on routine plays, the Yankees believed it was affecting his accuracy. Sidearm throws can sail to the side as they approach first base.
So the Yankees have continually reminded Andujar to set his feet properly and throw the more traditional overhand way on routine plays, which he did with ease during pregame fielding drills even last year.
“It’s about comfort level for him,” Mendoza said. “So when the game started, he got away from it. But now, we want that work that he’s doing before games to show in games this year.”
In terms of refining Andujar’s footwork, the Yankees taught him not only to get into an athletic position at third base — bent at the knees and hands out, ready to field — but to make a slight hop on the balls of his feet before each pitch is delivered. Mendoza likened it to a tennis player waiting to receive a serve.
“We talk about guys’ hands all the time, but really, the great fielders have great feet and are able to keep athletic and create hops” for themselves, Boone said.
Even something as small as a little bounce can be significant.
“It’ll help the accuracy of his first step,” Mendoza said. “Last year, he was a step too late. A tick of a second. In the big leagues, that’s the difference between an out and a double past you.”
Willie Randolph, a longtime Yankees second baseman and coach who serves as a guest spring training instructor, said young players sometimes had mental lapses in which they forgot to be in an athletic fielding position on every single pitch and were caught flat-footed when the ball was hit their way.
After a recent workout in spring training, Randolph commended Andujar’s progress.
“The difference I see from this year to last year: He’s starting to dance now,” he said. “He’s starting to feel the rhythm of the position.”
Much as Cashman and Mendoza did, Randolph advocated patience with Andujar. He pointed to the Yankees’ 100 wins last season despite Andujar’s defensive lapses and said that the total might improve as his fielding did. How much, if at all, will be a question hovering over the 2019 season.
“I always have trusted in my work, and I thank the team for believing in me and my talent, although I haven’t been here long,” Andujar said. “I’m thankful to be here and to show them every day that I can do it.”
Perhaps more than anyone, Andujar wants the narrative about him to change. The skepticism hovering over his defense has persisted so much since last season that he occasionally looks a tad annoyed answering more questions about it this spring. He answers them nonetheless.
Yet the day after Arenado, who could have been a Yankees free-agent target next winter, agreed to an eight-year, 0 million extension with the Colorado Rockies, Andujar smiled when asked for his opinion. Although his English is improving, Andujar usually uses an Spanish interpreter when speaking with reporters. This time, he blurted out an answer in English about one of the fielders he admires.
“Good for him,” Andujar said. “I want to be like that one day.”B:
二中二68期【一】【间】【破】【庙】【内】，【数】【十】【个】【乞】【丐】【全】【部】【围】【在】【一】【起】，【有】【小】【有】【青】【年】，【但】【就】【是】【没】【有】【老】【年】【人】，【这】【其】【中】【的】【原】【因】【可】【想】【而】【知】。 【而】【就】【在】【这】【破】【庙】【的】【角】【落】【里】【正】【卷】【缩】【着】【一】【个】【瘦】【小】【的】【身】【影】，【一】【个】【脸】【上】【脏】【兮】【兮】【的】【男】【孩】【子】【正】【准】【备】【走】【到】【了】【那】【躺】【在】【地】【上】【的】【人】【身】【后】，【想】【看】【看】【她】【怎】【么】【样】【了】。 “【狗】【子】，【别】【过】【去】【了】，【这】【家】【伙】【肯】【定】【死】【了】，【我】【今】【天】【在】【街】【上】【看】【到】【好】【几】【个】【别】【的】【地】
【来】【到】【了】【主】【舱】【之】【内】，【教】【主】【苏】【娇】【娇】【以】【及】【朱】【雀】【玄】【武】【二】【位】【长】【老】【皆】【在】，【外】【加】【上】【好】【几】【名】【生】【肖】【使】【与】【节】【气】【使】，【由】【此】【可】【见】，【他】【们】【对】【此】【事】【是】【何】【等】【的】【看】【重】。 【这】【里】【面】【的】【大】【部】【分】【人】【都】【认】【识】【苏】【提】，【见】【他】【进】【来】，【不】【由】【皆】【是】【拱】【手】【行】【礼】，【态】【度】【也】【是】【十】【分】【恭】【敬】。 【不】【管】【怎】【么】【样】，【他】【终】【究】【是】【少】【主】【的】【身】【份】，【礼】【不】【可】【废】，【更】【何】【况】【教】【主】【就】【在】【旁】【边】，【又】【怎】【敢】【放】【肆】？
“【我】【比】【你】【高】!” “【我】【比】【你】【高】!” “【我】【比】【你】【高】!” …… 【无】【论】【朴】【禹】【植】【说】【什】【么】，【吕】【九】【言】【都】【用】【这】【句】【话】【怼】【他】。【与】【生】【俱】【来】【的】【优】【势】【不】【利】【用】【岂】【不】【是】【浪】【费】【了】。【而】【且】【还】【可】【以】【给】【朴】【禹】【植】【添】【堵】，【岂】【不】【是】【两】【全】【其】【美】? 【在】【今】【天】【之】【前】，【他】【心】【里】【一】【直】【还】【是】【向】【着】【朴】【禹】【植】【的】。【尽】【管】【人】【人】【都】【说】【朴】【禹】【植】【是】【凶】【手】，【但】【是】【吕】【九】【言】【始】【终】【相】【信】【他】【是】【冤】【枉】【的】二中二68期【覃】【小】【雅】【蜷】【缩】【在】【酒】【店】【的】【床】【上】，【静】【静】【的】【回】【想】【着】。 【她】【想】【念】【着】【俞】【越】，【担】【心】【着】【俞】【越】，【她】【不】【知】【道】【俞】【越】【会】【怎】【么】【样】，【他】【的】【在】【娱】【乐】【圈】【的】【事】【业】【会】【受】【到】【什】【么】【样】【的】【影】【响】，【电】【影】【的】【宣】【传】【晚】【会】【被】【搞】【砸】【了】【会】【怎】【么】【样】。 【俞】【越】【是】【这】【么】【喜】【欢】【这】【份】【工】【作】，【他】【也】【付】【出】【了】【那】【么】【多】【的】【努】【力】，【如】【果】【因】【为】【他】【们】【的】【感】【情】，【牺】【牲】【了】【他】【喜】【欢】【的】【事】【业】【该】【怎】【么】【办】？ 【她】【还】【想】【着】【俞】