Yankees: Luke Voit picking up where he left off last season
While some will be quick to caution that Luke Voit could be the next coming of Shane Spencer, the 28-year-old Yankees first baseman continues to flash the prodigious power he displayed towards the end of last season.
Anytime I talk about a players’ fast start in the Grapefruit League; I have to preface it with the fact that I know it’s only Spring Training. And while many skeptics won’t pay much attention to the box scores or stat lines this time of year, I prefer to put a positive spin on what a guy like Yankees slugger Luke Voit is doing at the plate thus far.
Yes, we’re just eight games in, but Voit continues to clobber the ball in an effort to further solidify his hold on the Opening Day first base job.
On Sunday, as part of a 5-2 split-squad loss to the Blue Jays, Voit crushed a mammoth second inning home run to right-center field. He’d hit a frozen rope to the shortstop in the third inning before going down on strikes against Ken Giles in his final at-bat.
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Postgame, Voit told Brendan Kuty of NJ.com that overall, he felt good.
"“That’s my swing,” Voit said of the home run, which came on the first pitch from Blue Jays starting pitcher Matt Shoemaker. “Make sure I’m staying in my back hip and not coming out of it. When I’m there, I’m at my best.”"
Voit, who is now 3-for-10 with two home runs, five RBIs, one walk and two strikeouts is still theoretically competing with Greg Bird for the starting first base spot.
As for the cloud of negativity that followed Bird for much of 2018, he too is off to a nice start this spring, going 6-for-13 with three doubles, one homer, three RBIs, two walks and four Ks.
Although Bird is a better defender than Voit — and has the left-handed bat that would break up the righty-heavy Yankees lineup, especially with Didi Gregorius on the mend, no one is forgetting what Voit did down the stretch last year: .333 BA with 14 home runs and 33 RBIs in 39 games.
With many more spring innings yet to come, Voit is well aware of what he needs to do to keep his name in Aaron Boone’s lineup, as he told Erik Boland of Newsday.
"“I feel like it’s still there, the consistency. It means I’m on time. My last at-bat, I kind of came out of that, but it’s going to happen. Ken’s a good pitcher. Outside of that, two quality at-bats, did everything I could in the field, so a positive game for me. I’ll take it.”"