Newly acquired third baseman Brandon Drury is on the great Yankee roller coaster to begin the season—riding high during the four game series in Toronto, with a steep plunge back to reality against the Tampa Bay Rays in the Bronx.
Drury, acquired by Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman in the offseason in a three-team trade with the Rays and the Arizona Diamondbacks, was brought in for his bat and his glove, both of which gave him trouble during the Tampa Bay series. He went 0-7 with two walks and three strikeouts against Rays’ pitching, as well as making an error in the field.
The weather in the northeast, the American League East, the new pitchers—it’s all a learning process for Drury as he mans the hot corner for the Yankees.
In the Toronto series, Drury went 5-13 with 4 RBIs (tied with Giancarlo Stanton for the team lead after 4 games), and an important home run in Game 4 of the series off Toronto ace Marcus Stroman.
On the glove side, Drury contributed an error in the series opener against Tampa Bay. Admittedly the cold, rainy conditions may have had something to do with it, as he threw the ball over the head of Neil Walker at first base trying to throw out the runner, Matt Duffy.
Fortunately, the season is long and Drury is only 25 years old (four months younger than Aaron Judge) and, as a veteran of two seasons in Major League Baseball, he has a .271/.320/.448 slash line with 31 home runs and a .767 on-base-plus slugging percentage.
The Yankees were aware that Drury was still a work in progress when they acquired him. John Harper of the New York Daily News has said: “…the Yankees are convinced Drury’s athleticism and mental makeup give him the type of foundation that will allow him to make the changes they project.”
Drury will adjust to the league, the weather, and the expectations in the Bronx and projects to become an impact player for the Yankees both on the field and in the batter’s box as the season progresses.