DJ LeMahieu is the first man to win the batting title in both the National League and American League. The Yankees second baseman went 2-for-3 in the Yankees 5-0 loss to the Marlins Sunday to finish the 60-game season with a .364 batting average. Last year the 32-year-old finished eight points behind White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson for the title.
In 2016, with the Rockies, LeMahieu won the National League batting title with a .348 average that led all of MLB that season.
Luke Voit, who went 0-for-3 and finished with 22 homers, claimed the first home run title for a Yankee since Alex Rodriguez in 2007.
LeMahieu and Voit become the first teammates to win the batting and home run title in the same season since the Braves' Eddie Mathews and Hank Aaron in 1959.
They were a pair of unlikely MVPs for the Yankees. When the Yankees traded for Voit, he was a journeyman minor leaguer. LeMahieu was signed in late 2018 and it seemed like he wouldn’t fit anywhere defensively.
Rising star Gleyber Torres was then seen as the Bombers' second baseman of the future, Troy Tulowitzki would be manning shortstop until Didi Gregorius returned. Miguel Andujar was a Rookie of the Year runner up at third and first was a battle between Greg Bird and Voit.
Instead, in 2019, LeMahieu proved he could fit anywhere the Yankees needed him in the infield. He played 75 games at second base after Tulowitzki went down with an injury and Torres slid over to short. He played 52 at third when Miguel Andujar went down with a season-ending shoulder injury and he even played 40 games at first when Bird got hurt early and Voit suffered a sports hernia mid-season.
He did it while committing just six errors. LeMahieu had three defensive runs saved at second and first base and was a neutral 0 DRS at third.
It was huge for the Yankees, something that they could not have envisioned when they signed him to a deal that paid him $12 million a year.
“He didn’t let up, no matter what position he played. You value his bat, because he almost won a batting title. Then you value that he plays excellent defense at second and he was good at first and third,” a rival American League executive said. "But, you also have to add into that equation that he allowed you to give guys like Gleyber and Urshela and Voit days off and how much their defense and bats benefited from that rest.
“The bottom line is the Yankees got a lot more value from LeMahieu last year than what they paid him.”
LeMahieu played to a career-high 5.4 fWAR last season. He said this spring that he loves playing for the Yankees and he would like to hear from them regarding his future in pinstripes.
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