The Pittsburgh Pirates made a slew of moves throughout the season, really trying to throw as much against the wall as possible to see if anything would stick. For the most part, they did this to try and cover the rest of the season’s worth of innings in the bullpen, but they also plucked a few position players off of waivers.
It was the last one that was maybe the most notable, and it was a waiver pickup that might actually have the most upside to it.
Miguel Andújar hit 27-home runs with the New York Yankees back in 2018, finishing second in the AL Rookie of The Year voting. He’s struggled to stay healthy since, and the Yankees filled his positions, so when he wasn’t injured, it was hard to find playing time.
It was only nine games, but Andújar collected four extra-base hits, nine RBI while slashing .250/.275/.389.
In a short span, he’s certainly someone who earned himself at least another extended look going into 2023. The only question will be how exactly the Pirates will continue to utilize him?
How exactly they plan on doing so can shape how the Pirates approach the offseason.
Andújar creates an unique opportunity in the lineup: A right-handed bat that has already shown the ability to consistently hit the ball to the left-center gap with power. Being a righty as well helps create a little bit of diversity in the lineup, with the Pirates often being left-handed heavy sometimes.
What it will come down to is where the Pirates decide to play him on defense. As soon as he was claimed it seemed the consensus favorite was for him to play first base, although he’s had a very limited amount of time there.
He’s played third base and left field in the majors, but hasn’t played particularly well at either. According to Baseball Reference, Andújar has a career -2.8 dWaR mark in the majors, and Baseball Savant’s model isn’t any better.
Andújar has an -3 Outs Above Average in the outfield with the Yankees, although it was a +1 this year before coming over to the Pirates.
Things got a bit complicated towards the end of the season, with the Pirates sliding Bryan Reynolds over to left field in the second to last game. If that’s going to become something permanent, that takes away left field from Andújar, and would really leave just first base.
Regardless, Andújar is here to hit, and barring any big moves that further covers his positions, he’ll be given that chance to do so next spring.
Highlight of the Day
Nick Gonzales now 2 for 2 with 2 walks on the day after this RBI double to RC. @Nick_Gonzales13 @pirates #pirates @rumbunter #letsgobucs #baseball #arizonafallleague #mlbprospects @ProspectsLive pic.twitter.com/SSs1MMQSMA
— Michael Caplan (@M_Caplan) October 6, 2022
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Song of the Day
Anthony began writing over 10 years ago, starting a personal blog to cover the 2011 MLB draft, where the Pirates selected first overall. After bouncing around many websites covering hockey, he refocused his attention to baseball, his first love when it comes to sports. He eventually found himself here at Pirates Prospects in late 2021, where he covers the team’s four full season minor league affiliates.