Yankees: Luke Voit wants a spot in this year’s Home Run Derby
Yankees first baseman Luke Voit is letting it be known that he’d love to participate in next month’s Home Run Derby in Cleveland. Voit has hit 15 home runs so far this season and with his light-tower power, he’d be an ideal addition to this year’s event on July 8th.
Voit was asked earlier in the week if he’d accept a Derby invitation from Major League Baseball and his response: “Hell Yeah!” Considering he’s already well on his way to earning his first All-Star nod they’d be crazy to deny him an invite to the derby. After his breakout performance with the Yankees in 2018, Voit has picked up right where he left off and proven to all of his doubters that last season was no fluke.
Among AL first baseman Voit currently ranks in the top three in hits, home runs, RBI, OBP, and OPS. Over his last 18 games, he’s been on fire hitting .361, with 5 HR, 9 RBI, and a .999 OPS. All-Star balloting opened up last week so Voit is heating up at a great time. Based on his performance up to this point and his popularity among the Yankee fan base, he figures to be near or at the top of the leaderboard once the first voting update comes out.
As for the Home Run Derby, the last time we saw a Yankees player participate was in Miami back in 2017 when Aaron Judge steamrolled the competition on his way to victory. Gary Sanchez also competed and put on a show of his own by beating teammate Giancarlo Stanton in a memorable first-round battle. Voit might not have the pedigree of those three sluggers just yet but Yankee fans know he can hit a baseball as far as any of them.
Sunday night Voit launched his most recent home run 436 ft into the Red Sox bullpen off David Price. Two weeks ago in Kansas City, he hit a 470 ft bomb, his furthest of the season. This year he’s averaged a home run distance of 408 ft, so he’s built for this competition. No park is too big for him and he’s more than capable of hitting one out from foul pole to foul pole.
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His ability to hit the ball to the opposite field would definitely benefit him in the derby because he doesn’t have to change his swing or get pull happy. As we saw with Judge back in 2017 and Bryce Harper a year ago that could really separate you from the rest of the field. Voit is also in peak physical condition so if he were to advance deep into the competition fatigue probably wouldn’t be a big issue for him which it usually is for a lot of guys.
We all know Voit is already beloved by Yankee fans but he might not be as well known by fans across the country. This could be a cool opportunity for him to showcase his skills and gain some more recognition on a national stage.
It would also be a great opportunity for him to win some cash. This year for the first time ever the prize for winning is $1 million. This season the Yankees are only paying Voit $573,000 and he’s not arbitration eligible until 2021 so I’m sure he’d love to nearly double his season salary with a derby win.
Let’s hope he gets that chance and Major League Baseball extends him that invite.