As the 2023 regular season winds down, should the Pittsburgh Pirates be giving Miguel Andujar more playing time?
Throughout his career, Miguel Andujar has flashed power potential. However, between his time with the New York Yankees and Pittsburgh Pirates he has failed to find consistency. But could more at-bats help that happen?
In 2018, with the Yankees, he had his rookie campaign, playing in 149 games. He hit .297 with a .328 on-base percentage. He also slugged 27 home runs and drove in 92 runs. While he didn't win American League Rookie of the Year, finishing second to Shohei Ohtani, his 130 OPS+ (meaning he was 30% better than the average player) was showing he could be a great hitter with the Yankees. But over the next 3 seasons, he only saw 78 games and struggled in them.
In 2022, he played in 27 games with the Yankees with bad results. They decided to designate him for assignment, and the Pirates claimed him off waivers last September. Andujar then played 9 games with the Pirates but didn't do much, hitting .250.
Andujar began the 2023 season with Triple-A Indianapolis. After hitting .284 with 3 home runs and 15 RBIs in 23 games, the Pirates decided to promote him back to the majors. Andujar's first two games with the Pirates was a doubleheader vs. the Nationals in which he went 4-5 with a walk and two Home Runs along with 6 RBIs. In his next 11 games, he went 1 for 26 with a walk and 5 strikeouts, hitting just .039 with a .074 OBP.
After getting sent back down, it took 80 games for him to get the call back up. In those 80 games, he hit .353 with 13 Home Runs and 71 RBIs along with 36 walks and 44 strikeouts for an OBP of .415. Since getting called up, he's shown again all of the potential he holds. In 8 games since the call-up, he's hit .333 with a home run and 6 RBIs. In those 8 games, the Pirate record is 5-3, showing if he can continue to hit with the Pirates, they can win games with him.
From his small sample size with the Pirates, he's shown he can be part of the Pirate future. This season, in his 21 games, he didn't start the best but recently he's shown he can help the franchise possibly win games in the future. In this small sample size, he hasn't been striking out as much and could walk a lot more if given playtime. While many believe it's not worth keeping him in the Majors but to instead call up a prospect, I would say it's worth giving him a chance. He's been good before and can be again, while he's mostly shown that in the minor leagues, it still has to be worth something.