Former Colorado Rockies All-Star second baseman DJ LeMahieu has agreed to a two-year, $24 million deal with the New York Yankees. After spending seven years in Colorado, LeMahieu will take his two All-Star appearances, three Gold Gloves and 2016 National League batting title to the Bronx.
The yankees have been in search of infielders this offseason to fill the hole left by Didi Gregorius. He isn’t expected to be back from his Tommy John surgery until mid-summer. They signed Troy Tulowitzki last week and later said he would be their starting shortstop until Gregorius’ return. It’s likely that LeMahieu will see time at second, third and even first base. Anywhere he plays he will be an upgrade for the team defensively from a year ago.
The 6-foot-4 second baseman had a solid season in 2018. He took home his third Gold Glove award, batted .276, hit 15 homers and scored 90 runs. Overall he had a WAR of 3.0 according to Baseball Reference.
LeMahieu has been a productive player offensively throughout his career. Over his eight total seasons he’s hit for a .298 average and a .350 OBP and scored 501 runs. Like most Rockies players though, DJ has been criticized for not being able to hit on the road.
His career numbers are skewed by his .329/.386/.447 slash line at Coors, but, he has hit 16 of his last 23 home runs on the road. Also, in 2016 and 2017 he hit .303 and .294 away from Coors respectively. However, that number fell to .229 last season, which is a big reason why he hit under .300 for the first time since 2014.
It will be interesting to see how LeMahieu does in his first full season away from Colorado. It’s worth noting that Yankee Stadium isn’t exactly a hitter friendly park. Despite high home run numbers by lefties, thanks to that 310 foot short porch in right, it’s home to the 17th best WHIP in the MLB. That may not seem great, but it’s a far cry from Coors Field.
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