The drama that affects Dominican baseball players when they return home has hit again as Miguel Andújar, infielder/outfielder with the New York Yankees, was robbed at gunpoint in the D.R.
According to reports, the incident happened at Andújar’s farm in San Cristóbal.
“We’ve been in contact with Miguel,” a Yankees spokesperson said on Friday to MLB. “We’re still gathering details and information about the reported incident and we do expect him to report some time this weekend to Tampa.”
Andy Vermaut shares:Yankees' Miguel Andújar robbed at gunpoint in Dominican Republic: reports: New York Yankees infielder Miguel Andújar was reportedly robbed at gunpoint in the… https://t.co/e3lCLWhzJn Thank you. #ThankYouJournalistsForTheNewsWeGetFromYou #AndyVermautThanksYou pic.twitter.com/Xwi4x0hjzl
— Andy Vermaut (@AndyVermaut) March 11, 2022
According to reports, three gunshots were fired. However, although Andújar was not injured, another person on the property reportedly was shot in the finger.
Among the reported stolen valuables was a watch valued at $7,000. In addition, his father’s sport utility vehicle was also taken, but the car reportedly was later found abandoned.
@Yankees remember when Miguel Andujar almost won rookie of the year in 2018? Yea, so do I. Play the dam kid!
— Dave (Rose Bowl Champ) (@David_Alongi) March 12, 2022
Now that the MLB lockout is over, spring training is gearing up for its return, and all Yankees players are to report to George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa by Sunday.
Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association recently reached a new collective bargaining agreement on Thursday. After 99 days of uncertainty, the owner-sanctioned lockout finally resolved, and baseball will reopen.
Luckily for the Yankees, according to multiple reports, Andújar plans to arrive on time for the start of spring training. It is also pivotal for the 27-year-old as he competes for a roster slot.
I don’t see anyone reporting this in the US but apparently Miguel Andujar was jumped and robbed and had his family threatened 😵💫 in DR pic.twitter.com/uANgFJ0cqH
— Envy 🇩🇴 (@PLTNOPWR) March 11, 2022
Something To Prove
His last couple of seasons were lackluster. However, he was the runner-up in the 2018 American League Rookie of the Year race to the Anaheim Angels’ 2021 American League MVP Shohei Ohtani.
Last year he batted .253 with an on-base percentage of .284 and slugging percentage of .383 as he added six home runs and 12 RBIs in 45 games for the Yankees. Then came a season-altering injury to his left wrist.
Since his stellar 2018 rookie season Andújar has played in just 78 games, batting .228 with a 60 OPS+ while battling multiple injuries.
Trending: Miguel Andujar was robbed by 3 gunmen in the DR. He is fortunately okay and will arrive for Spring Training in Tampa tomorrow, per @eboland11
Opinion: I can't imagine how scary this must've been for him, but respect for him still planning on making this trip#MLB
— BIG4 Sports Nation (@big4scores) March 11, 2022
According to the MLB:
“OPS+ takes a player’s on-base plus slugging percentage and normalizes the number across the entire league. It accounts for external factors like ballparks. It then adjusts, so a score of 100 is league average, and 150 is 50 percent better than the league average.”
Against All Odds
One year after that rookie campaign, Andújar was limited to only twelve games before undergoing shoulder surgery. As a result, he spent most of the shortened 2020 pandemic season with the Yankees at one of their alternate sites.
Although he only spent two months in left field before going on the injured list in July, which he never returned from, the Yankees still issued a contract to Andujar. The potential is still there to be a well above average major leaguer.
In addition, Andújar still has one minor-league option remaining for the offseason. However, in the Dominican Republic, what happened to him does not live in a vacuum.
Looks like Miguel Andujar is ok after what happened https://t.co/iFzGcV2AeR
— MLB Update (@MLBNewsRumor) March 12, 2022
Baseball’s DR Problem
Baseball is akin to religion on the shared island. However, with success comes envy and subsequent incidents. To date, the biggest one was what happened to Boston Red Sox legend David “Big Papi” Ortiz.
Accused Dominican drug kingpin Cesar Emilio Peralta, linked to the shooting of Ortiz in June 2019, was arrested during the 2021 holiday season. Peralta had been in custody in Colombia and was extradited to U.S. authorities in Puerto Rico just before Christmas.
Also, in early 2020, Baltimore Orioles pitcher Miguel Castro was mugged and almost shot outside a stadium in La Romana, Dominican Republic. The 25-year-old was with a group when he was approached by two men attempting to steal his gold chains. One of the suspects almost shot him; however, the gun jammed.