Bronx native Andrew Velazquez comes up clutch in Yankees' sweep of Red Sox: 'It's what you dream about'

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Andrew Velazquez celebrates home uniform
Andrew Velazquez celebrates home uniform

The Yankees’ recent hot streak has been fueled by some big-name additions like Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo, two All-Star-caliber players who have brought power and experience to the Bombers’ lineup.

But don’t discount the impact made by Andrew Velazquez.

A Bronx native and Fordham Prep product, Velazquez had just three career RBI in 113 major league plate appearances with Tampa Bay, Cleveland, and Baltimore prior to this season. But since Gleyber Torres landed on the IL, Velazquez has made a name for himself with his hometown team.

In Wednesday’s 5-2 win over the Red Sox, Velazquez had two hits and drove in two runs. His two RBI gave him four for the series, surpassing his previous career total in a matter of two days.

“It’s what you dream about,” Velazquez said after the game. “You come here and you want to be a part of something, not only doing good on the field but earning the respect of the guys in the locker room.”

“He’s been great,” added Aaron Boone. “We were excited to bring him up. He, I think, endeared himself to our room in spring training. I think everyone enjoyed getting to know him and seeing his skill set up close, and then obviously going down and having a really strong season in Triple-A. He can really play short but he has the defensive versatility to play around.

“You see the speed that he has, and he can swing the bat a little bit. He’s gotten some big hits for us here the last couple of days and played really well in helping us win games.”

Velazquez also flashed some leather on the final play of the game. After Aroldis Chapman couldn’t close things outs, Velazquez made a tremendous sliding play deep in the hole to throw out Kevin Plawecki at first base, ending the game before Boston could inch back any closer against Lucas Luetge.

“I didn’t know if (Rougned Odor) was going to make a play on it so I was just trying to see what was going to happen there,” Velazquez said of the play. “When I got it I said ‘You know what, I’m gonna throw it as hard and as low as I can so that Rizzo can just pick it.’ If not, I would have thrown it in the family section in the second deck.”

“It’s been fun to watch,” added Rizzo. “After the game him just saying a couple words of him growing up here and dreaming of this and how much better it is in person, it’s special stuff.”