Let me just start off by saying this: please, I beg of Yankee fans everywhere to not make “Judge and Drury” joke this season. We are better than that.
If you haven’t heard, the Yankees have acquired utility man Brandon Drury in a 3 team trade that sent Yankees prospects INF Nick Solak and RHP Taylor Widener to Tampa, Steven Souza Jr. to Arizona, and Arizona sending Drury to the Yankees and multiple pieces to Tampa.
Drury, entering his age 25 season, just came off his most successful season as a big leaguer. He finished 2017 hitting .267/.317/.447 with 13 HRs and 63 RBIs in 135 games, while playing 2B in 114 of them. Drury is still pre-arbitration and is under team control through 2021.
Drury figures to open the season as either our Opening Day 2B or 3B, depending on what happens with Andujar and Torres. Third is seen as more likely due to Andujar’s glove being questioned and Torres basically a lock for 2B as long as he is healthy.
Drury provides the Yankees something they needed desperately, and this is a backup option that has played everywhere on the diamond in his career except for pitcher and catcher. Drury is a good defensive 2B, putting up 5 DRS and a 1.8 UZR in 947 innings in 2017.
Drury has a right handed stroke that provides a ton of ground balls. His 48.8% GB% would have ranked him 24th amongst qualified hitters had he qualified, which puts him above the 44.2% 2017 league average. Drury also has a below-average FB% which sits at 29.4%, 6% below the league average. If Drury can start putting the ball in the air more, he should see a solid rise in all of his offensive stats.
In case you were wondering, I couldn’t see the ball leave the bat in the GIF either. I spent 5 straight minutes staring at it and I just can’t see it.
Another plus for Drury is he should see some power improvements just from his new home ballpark alone. Below is Drury’s 2017 spray chart, but over Yankee Stadium instead of Chase Field, courtesy of Baseball Savant:
As you can see, he had about 6-8 doubles and outs that would’ve been home runs or potential home runs. Just him getting to play in Yankee stadium for 81 games, against the weaker pitching in the division, Drury’s stats should play up.
This is minor trade, but a good one. Once again Cashman has gotten a good piece that will help the team in the long run, without hurting the farm system. In CashGod we trust.