Luke Voit was huge in 2018, but not in 2019 for the Yankees
In 2018, the New York Yankees acquired first baseman, Luke Voit, from the St. Louis Cardinals organization. Instantly he became a fan favorite as the New York faithful admired his home run ability and his celebrations with his teammates.
The right-handed power batter took command of the first base position in 2018, and he is looking to win back that job that he lost in 2019. Injuries cut his 2019 season short. Voit would go on to share playing time with Mike Ford and DJ LeMahieu upon returning to the Yankees lineup last summer. However, Voit couldn’t seem to figure things out, and his poor play down the stretch as the Yankees headed toward the playoffs cost him a spot on the postseason roster.
During the off-season, the Yankees seemed to have found the perfect formula for their infield, opting not to re-sign fan favorite Didi Gregorious. This decision led us to believe that Gio Urshela would be the everyday third baseman, Gleyber Torres would be the everyday shortstop, and DJ LeMahieu would be the everyday second baseman. However, the first base position was open for any player that wanted it. Manager Aaron Boone had a handful of players that are capable of being the everyday first baseman. Voit, Ford, and Miguel Andujar were the likely candidates to win the job. However, there was some speculation that Ford would be the guy because he played many of the Spring Training games with the “A-team.” That doesn’t mean anything, though. This decision could have been something to light a fire under Voit to get that 2018 spark back.
Voit’s 2019 MLB season was not terrible despite losing his job late in the season due to injuries and inconsistency. He played in 118 games, and during the season, Voit collected 113 hits, 21 home runs, 62 RBI, and a .263 batting average. Voit had a decent year despite having his troubles later in the year.
Heading into Spring Training, Voit was looking to win back his job at first base. He played in 10 games so far this spring. During those ten games, Voit hit .267, collected eight hits, one home run, and two RBI. It was a good start for Voit looking to channel his success from 2018.
The New York Yankees traded prized prospect Nick Solak in a deal with the Tampa Bay Rays and Arizona Diamondbacks to acquire Brandon Drury.
Voit has the credentials to be the everyday first baseman for the Yankees, and I expect him to win the job once the season begins. He is healthy and should put up decent numbers. I expect to see 2018 Voit in 2020, and the power numbers will return. I see him hitting 15 home runs and about 60 RBI with a .260 batting average.
Voit returning to his 2018 numbers or even those numbers from 2019, would make the Yankees’ lineup more dangerous than they already are.