Yankees prospect Miguel Andujar looked to be on the road to starting the regular season in pinstripes. But after the signing of veteran INF Brandon Drury, it could be a start in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre instead.
Andujar was slated the starter at third base for the Yankees all offseason. That is until New York struck a three-way deal with the D-Backs and Rays to land Drury, who was on their radar. Though Drury can play multiple infield positions, third base is his forté, and the Yankees intend for him to compete there in Tampa.
Instead of rolling his eyes at the signing, Andjuar welcomes the competition.
"We've got to welcome (Drury) here in the clubhouse," Andujar told NJ.com's Randy Miller through an interpreter. "That doesn't change anything to me. I've got to keep working hard. That's my focus, so the addition of another teammate doesn't change my plans."
Andujar recognizes Drury's arrival means he is no longer the favorite to win the position battle, but don't think that has his spirits down.
"Like I just said, that doesn't change anything to me," Andujar said. "The bottom line is I need to do my job. I have to stay focused on what I have to do and stay focused on my goals."
How can Andujar still secure the starting job? Improved defense will be a major key for him this spring, as scouts have noted his defensively abilities need tuning. Drury may not be the same hitter as Andujar, but his defensive prowess is superior at the moment.
Andujar knows he needs to improve in the field, but he is focused on showing the Yankees he is a well-rounded player as well.
"That's the plan to become more consistent defensively...and also offensively," Andujar said. "You want to all aspects of your game to be consistent. That's my plan. That's my goal."