Wednesday, February 21, 2018

On Second Thought Brandon Drury Should Start At 2B

Late in the evening yesterday the New York Yankees acquired infielder/outfielder Brandon Drury from the Arizona Diamondbacks in a three-team trade that included the Tampa Bay Rays. When the dust settled the Yankees acquired Drury while giving up prospects Nick Solak and Taylor Widener while the Diamondbacks got Steven Souza Jr. The Rays, as always, received prospects back in the deal. Last night I mentioned in my initials thoughts on the trade that Drury would be the Yankees starting third baseman on Opening Day, but now that I have had a night to sleep on it and really give it some thought and research I think I have changed my mind just a bit. I think Drury will be the Yankees starting second baseman on Opening Day 2018, and here’s why.

The New York Yankees have a tough pitching staff, but the pitchers can only do so much. The team needs defense behind their starters for any pitcher to be successful and looking at defensive metrics it just makes sense for Drury to start at second base. Drury has 1,067 innings at second base in his career with a .976 fielding percentage and above average stats in Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) and Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR), although Drury did spend just 620 innings at second base during his minor league career. Despite logging over 3,000 minor league innings at third base Drury has played just 311 Major League innings at the hot corner posting below average defensive metrics. With the need for defense behind their pitchers and defensive metrics on their side it only makes sense that New York would start Drury at second base where he excels, and not third base where he would presumably do no better defensively than Miguel Andujar.

Allowing Drury to man second base gives Miguel Andujar at least two-to-three weeks to prove to the Yankees that he belongs in the Major Leagues and has made strides defensively to stick at third base long term, maybe a bit longer. If Andujar shows the Yankees that he needs a little more time to work on his defense he can easily be sent back down to Triple-A Scranton when Gleyber Torres is deemed ready, especially since Gleyber can play either second base or third base for New York. If Andujar is excelling at the position then he could easily stay there while Torres takes over second base, essentially moving Drury to the bench as a super utility player and possibly forcing Ronald Torreyes off the team and/or the 40-man roster.

The Yankees have tons of versatility and quite a few options now that they have acquired Brandon Drury, a lot more realistic options than they had just a day ago at this time, so there is no rush to make a decision or make a decision based off the future. These decisions need to be made for the now, and in the now it only makes sense for Drury to be your starting second baseman on Opening Day and Miguel Andujar be your starting third baseman when the 2018 season starts.


  1. I guess Toe could be traded.
    I like him as a utility player but if Torres and Andujar are ready then Drury who has more power would be better offensive option than Toe.
    Let's go Yankees

  2. Sounds like third base is preferred destination based on Brian Cashman's words. I am still hopeful that Gleyber Torres, despite his youth, takes 2nd and runs with it even if he has to spend a couple of weeks in Scranton. I think the kid is going to be a special player. I've known that Cashman has long desired Drury but I found it interesting that he's been trying to get Drury through three Arizona management regimes (the late Kevin Towers to Dave Stewart to Mike Hazen). I don't want to hold back Andujar but I really want to see what Drury can do. There's a reason that Cashman is so high on him and the guy is only 25. I don't necessarily like trying to compare Drury to Didi, but I don't think any of us thought that Didi would be an All-Star caliber shortstop when he first arrived. I think the best player will win the third base job, be it Drury or Andujar. It's a good problem to have.