— SNY (@SNYtv) December 2, 2019
Miguel Andújar had an amazing 2018 season, putting up what should have been American League Rookie of the Year numbers. He had a .297 average, .855 on-base plus slugging percentage, a 130 OPS +, and a 2.8 WAR. His defense was not all that spectacular, but his offense very much made up for it.
Andújar’s 2019 season was cut down to only 12 games, as he had a torn labrum in his right shoulder. In May, he opted to have season-ending surgery to repair his labrum.
In his place, Gio Urshela stepped up and continued the Yankees’ Next Man Up movement, and made it seem as if the Yankees did not even miss Andújar. Urshela kept the Yankees’ third base position locked up with stellar defense and a surprising offensive year. It seemed as if every single game there was a new Gio Urshela defensive highlight.
What a play by Gio Urshela to end the game pic.twitter.com/wagT3gJ51j
— David Mendelsohn (@BigBabyDavid_) June 25, 2019
Watching Gio Urshela play third base all season was a privilege. I feel bad for the people that didn’t enjoy it because some stat told them not to pic.twitter.com/p7Z7lkgJYX
— Kyle ⚾️ (@KyleNYY) September 29, 2019
And this is only two plays. If every highlight were put here, this would be insanely long.
Urshela also had a breakout offensive year. He posted a .314 average, a .889 on-base plus slugging percentage, a 133 OPS+, and a 2.3 WAR.
However, this is only one season of offensive production from Urshela. Before this season, in three years with the Blue Jays and the Indians, Urshela only had a .225 average, a .589 on-base plus slugging percentage, and an OPS+ of 57.
Gio Urshela had an amazing season with the Yankees in 2019 and was a huge part of their success this season. But this amazing season does not mean he is going to be amazing every single year.
Miguel Andújar still has a huge upside, is younger than Urshela, and could blossom into an amazing player once he has fully recovered from his surgery.
Regardless of how well Urshela played, the Yankees still need to give Andújar a chance. If he improves his defense, he could be the Yankees’ third baseman for years to come.
Featured Image: Noah Murray - Associated Press