DJ LaMahieu’s career year in 2019 saved the Yankees
By Scott Roche
The 2019 New York Yankees regular season played out like a nasty dream when it came to injuries. Overall, the Yankees had 30 players end up with injured list stints during the season. That would have been a devastating blow to most Major League Baseball teams.
Big-name players such as Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, Giancarlo Stanton, Gary Sanchez, and Luke Voit were just some of the players that manager Aaron Boone lost for significant amounts of time.
While the IL list seemed to grow by the day, one player that was consistent almost all year and never missed time due to an injury was DJ LeMahieu. Not only did he allow the Yankees to tread water while the wounded Bombers got healthy, but he was a big reason why they still managed to win 103 games and capture the American League East championship.
LeMahieu always had a very consistent glove in the field when he played for the Colorado Rockies and was versatile for Boone in 2019. He played in 145 games, but split his time all over the infield. He played 75 games at second base, 52 at third base and 40 at first for the Yankees. He committed just eight errors between all three positions all season.
In his eighth professional season, LeMahieu had a career year at the plate. He batted .327 with career-highs in home runs with 26 and RBI with 102 while solidifying the top spot in the order for the Yankees. He also had a career-highs in hits with 197, runs scored with 109, doubles with 33 and total base with 312.
LeMahieu was an All-Star last season, won the AL Silver Slugger Award on top of being an ALL-MLB First Team selection. He finished fourth in the voting for American League MVP behind Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels, Alex Bregman of the Houston Astros and Marcus Semien of the Oakland Athletics. That seems low for someone who had the season he had on a team devastated by injuries.
With the start of the 2020 baseball season paused amid the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, we will have to wait longer to hopefully see what LeMahieu could do in his second year in the Pinstripes should the season ever startup.
The Yankees signed LeMahieu to a two-year, $24 million contract in January of 2019. Major League Baseball and the Players Association recently worked out a deal that if the season had to cancel due to COVID-19, that all players would get their service time. That would mean following the season LeMahieu will be a free agent and one that general manager Brian Cashman would have to seriously think about bringing back in 2021.