While it was a super small sample size, let’s delve into how Miguel Andújar performed at the plate during his time with the Pittsburgh Pirates
Last week, Noah took a look at three players the Pittsburgh Pirates claimed off waivers during the 2022 season who could make an impact in 2023. One of the players Noah highlights was infielder/outfielder/designated hitter Miguel Andújar.
At one point in time Andújar was one of the top prospects in baseball. With the New York Yankees, he finished second to Shohei Ohtani in American League Rookie of the Year voting in 2018. Since then, Andújar has battled injuries and struggled at the plate.
In late September the Yankees designated Andújar for assignment, leading to the Pittsburgh Pirates claiming him. Andújar would go on to have a very small 40 plate appearance sample size with the Pirates.
Andújar hit for a .250/.275/.389 slash line to go with a 78 wRC+, three doubles and a triple. While Andújar struck out in just 12.5% of his trips to the plate in black and gold, he drew walks at just a 5.0% clip which is at least 2-3% points lower than you would like to see. But, again, it was a very small sample size.
With the Pirates, Andújar’s hit rates were not what you want to see. He had a hard-hit rate of just 30.3% with an average exit velocity of 85.5 MPH, both of which are below league average. However, he did hit line drives at a strong 30.3% rate.
Next season, you would like to see Andújar hit the ball with more authority and improve his exit velocity. Also, improving on his 33.3% fly ball rate could help lead to more success at the plate for Andújar as well.
Looking ahead to 2023, Andújar will likely be given an opportunity to get an extended amount of at-bats with the Pittsburgh Pirates early in the season. He could contribute at first base, left field and designated hitter. If he hits well he will continue to get ABs with the Pirates, but if he struggles he will likely be moved on from to create a spot for another young player.