Monday, July 2, 2018

Yankees 3B Miguel Andujar Named June AL Rookie of the Month

Miguel Andujar. @Yankees.

Yankees third baseman Miguel Andujar has been named the American League Rookie of the Month for June.

Andujar posted a slash line of .264/.302/.560 in June, with seven home runs, 20 RBI, 10 runs scored, 24 hits, and six doubles in 25 games played to claim the first monthly honor of his career.

Among AL rookies with a minimum of 20 at-bats in June, Andujar was first in home runs, extra-base hits, RBI, and slugging percentage; second in hits and doubles; tied for second in hits and doubles; tied for second in runs scored; and seventh in batting average.

"He's been an impact player for us," Yankees Manager Aaron Boone said of Andujar, "I felt incredibly confident in his bat from the first time I saw him and thinking, he's going to be a really good hitter in this league, and I think he's more than proving that.

"I think what's impressed me about him, though, is just the adjustability, the maturity with his approach, the ability, as the league has made a couple of different adjustments to him, showing the versatility to handle multiple pitches. He's done a great job with breaking balls and sliders when teams have fed him a steady diet. When teams have gone back to the fastball, he's shown the ability to handle good velocity. He's just a real versatile hitter.

"I think the way he carries himself, from a confidence standpoint, to what he brings to the room, to the kind of joy that he plays the game with, the work he's put in defensively to continue to make himself a better defender at third base.

"He brings so much to the table for us, not just as a player, but he's one of those guys that, you know, he warms the room. He's fun to be around, and he's one of those guys I really look forward to seeing every day because he puts a smile on my face."

Andujar is the second-consecutive Yankee to take home AL Rookie of the Month honors, following second baseman Gleyber Torres, who was the AL Rookie of Month for May.

The right-handed hitting slugger collected 12 hits through his first eight games in June, slashing .444/.516/.9265 with four runs scored, four doubles, three home runs, and 10 RBI.

On June 5 against Toronto, Andujar hit the first grand slam of his first career, matching his career high in RBI with four that night.

On Friday night against Boston, in an 8-1 Yankee win, Andujar went 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBI. The fourth-inning homer on Friday night was the 39th extra-base hit of his career. Through their first 74 career games played, only Joe DiMaggio (54) and Bob Meusel (46) have totaled more extra-base hits during that span.

Andujar is the fifth Yankees rookie in their illustrious history to slug at least 10 home runs prior to the All-Star break, which is still two weeks away. He joins teammates Torres, who has 14 homers so far this season, and Aaron Judge, who hit 30 by the break on his way to 52 homers and Rookie of the Year honors, as well as finishing second in Most Valuable Player voting. The other two Yankees to do it are Nick Johnson (11 in 2002) and Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio, who hit 11 in 1936.

Andujar and Torres are the first pair of Yankees rookies to accomplish the feat in the same season, and the first in the Majors since Corey Seager (17) and Trayce Thompson (13) of the 2016 Los Angeles Dodgers.

They arrived while the Yankees were mired in a slow start (9-9 on April 20), and have spurred them to the best record in baseball, 54-27, through Sunday's 11-1 win over Boston.

The National League Rookie of the Month for June went to Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto, who hit three home runs against the Yankees, including two on June 13 at the Stadium, and one in Washington to win a suspended game on June 18. In 19 games in June, Soto batted .317 (26-82), with 19 runs scored, six doubles, six home runs, 15 RBI, and 18 walks to earn his first monthly award.

Others receiving votes for AL Rookie of the Month included:

Oakland A's: outfielder Dustin Fowler (.294, 10 runs, 6 extra-base hits, 10 RBI), who played just one inning of one game with the Yankees in 2017 before suffering a season-ending injury, was sent to Oakland in the Sonny Gray trade; and reliever Lou Trivino (4-1, 2.45 ERA, 14.2 innings pitched, 18 strikeouts

Tampa Bay Rays: shortstop Willy Adames (four runs, 13 hits, 3 extra-base hits, 6 RBI), first baseman Jake Bauers (.267, 12 R, 11 XBH, 7 RBI), and pitcher Ryan Stanek (12 G, 15.2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 19 SO)

Cleveland Indians: starting pitcher Shane Bieber (3-0, 0.96 ERA, 18.2 IP, 21 SO)

Others who received votes in the National League included:

Miami Marlins: Third baseman Brian Anderson (.301, 17 runs, 34 hits, 12 extra-base hits), and outfielder Lewis Brinson (.267, 10 R, 4 triples, 13 RBI)

Arizona Diamondbacks: relief pitcher Yoshihisa Hirano (14 G, 0.00 ERA, 12.1 IP, 10 SO)

Cincinnati Reds: starting pitcher Tyler Mahle (3-0, 2.18 ERA, 33.0 IP, 37 SO), and outfielder Jesse Winker (.308, 9 R, 5 HR, 20 RBI)

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