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Yankees’ Miguel Andujar could be wedging his way into RoY mix

Yankees third baseman Miguel Andujar hits a three-run

Yankees third baseman Miguel Andujar hits a three-run home run in the fifth inning to give the Yankees a six-run lead on the way to a 6-3 victory over the Orioles on Tuesday night, July 31, 2018, at Yankee Stadium. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

The trade deadline has come and gone, and Miguel Andujar is still the third baseman for the Yankees. And with that comes a sense of relief, although he just tried to focus on what he could control throughout the process.

“I feel the same, I can’t control anything else outside my work,” Andujar said Tuesday. “We’ve got a good team and we compete.”

And possibly most impressively, Andujar capped off his month of July with a 410-foot, three-run home run in the Yankees’ 6-3 home victory over the Orioles on Tuesday evening.

“I think we’re kind of witnessing the continued emergence of what’s going to be a really good hitter in this league for a long time,” manager Aaron Boone said. “He’s a tough out for us wherever we put him in the order.”

Andujar hit safely in 21 of his 24 games in July, hitting .330, despite the uncertainty that surrounds nearly every player around the trade deadline. The 23-year-old is hitting .292 with 13 home runs, 46 RBIs and an .821 OPS in his rookie campaign, and with a continued strong second half, he could contest the AL Rookie of the Year race, which also features his teammate Gleyber Torres and the Angels’ Shohei Ohtani.

“I’m feeling really good, I feel really good with my plan every time I go to home plate,” Andujar said. “I have my assignment, I try to get a good pitch to hit and try to hit the ball hard.”

Ohtani, after a monstrous April hitting .359 with four home runs, 12 RBIs and an 1.148 OPS, has hit only five home runs over the past three months. Ohtani is hitting .258 with nine home runs and 25 RBIs. The two-way Japanese star has a 3.10 ERA with 61 strikeouts in 49 1⁄3 innings on the mound, but hasn’t pitched since June 6 with a Grade 2 sprain of his UCL.

And with Andujar cemented in the lineup, Boone figures to see the third baseman continue to be an important piece to a Yankees team which at 68-37 is firmly in a division race.

“He’s a really gifted hitter,” Boone said. “I’ve talked a lot about his ability to keep the bat in the hitting zone for a long time. He’s one of those guys that does that but I think the thing that’s been really good about him is he’s made adjustments as the league’s made adjustments to him.”

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