Luke Voit is a 29-year-old first baseman for the New York Yankees. Luke has had a relatively unremarkable baseball career, but how he got to the Yankees and what he has done while here, is an interesting story.
Luke was born in Wildwood, Missouri, and attended Lafayette High School there. In high school, he played football as a fullback and middle linebacker. He also played baseball where he got a lot of experience. In his first three years, he played first base and third base. Interestingly in his senior year he played catcher. Shoulder injuries while in high school ended any career he may have had in football.
After his senior year at Lafayette, he was selected in the 22nd round of the
2013 MLB Draft by the St. Louis Cards. He made his professional debut with the State College Spikes of class A, New York/Penn League. That year he batted .242 with 2 home runs and 16 RBI’s in 46 games played.
Throughout his minor league career, he was always on the edge of being good. In June of 2017, the Cards promoted him to the bigs. In July of 2017, In his very first at-bat, he was plunked in the back. After 114 at-bats he hit his first home run. He ended the season with a batting average of .246 with four home runs and 18 RBI’s, still unremarkable but good enough to be used in a trade by the Cards to get players they needed.
In July of 2018, the Cards traded Luke Voit to the New York Yankees along with bonus pool money so they could get pitcher Chasen Shrive and Giovanny Gallegos. The Yanks assigned him to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The Yanks swiftly promoted him to the majors, in part to play first, in the absence of Greg Bird, but after batting .188 in five games they demoted him back to Scranton. After playing better in the minors and with the injury to Didi Gregorius he was again called up to the Stadium. This time something happened, he seemed to embrace the limelight and energy of New York.
Playing for Greg Bird, he soon had hit ten home runs, and after hitting .458, he was named MLB player of the week on October 1st. He ended the season hitting .333 with 14 home runs and 33 RBI’s in just 39 games. In the 2018 Wild Card game, he hit a two-run triple to help the Yankees win 7-2. That triple seemed to have given Luke a place as a Yankee favorite.
During spring training last year, he with Bird back playing, was in a competition for playing first base when the season started. Since then with Bird back on the IL, and his play at 1st, and better hitting than Bird, it was almost solidified that he will be our 1st baseman. On April 29, 2019, he
was named AL Player of the Week hitting .433 with 13 hits, 4 home runs, and 10 RBI’s in the previous week. It appeared that found his place with the Yankees and the Yankee fans.
However, Voit didnâ€™t escape the injury plague that hit the team in 2019. An abdominal injury right around the London series sidelined him, and continued to be problematic upon Voitâ€™s return, and eventually required surgery once the Yankees were eliminated from the playoffs. Voit was dreadful after getting hurt, but I think his performance pre-injury gets overlooked easily. Voit in 2019 was out for two stints. That injury caused him to play in only 118 games.
Before his season was derailed he led the New York Yankees, he led the team in home runs and was having a better season than Miguel Torres or DJ LeMahieu. At the plate, he seldom wasted an at-bat. He doesn’t swing at bad pitches and only had one pop up in the first half of the season.
Luke Voit should be the 1st base starter for the Yankees. Voit is just too good as a hitter to be relegated to being a part-time player.Â Even in a short season, Mike Ford will be used at first to rest Voit. If Voit can remain healthy, which there is no reason to assume otherwise, and can start off 2020 as he did in 2019, he could equal all of last year in just 60 games.Â You have to remember he was so bad in the second half that it dragged down his 2019 stats.
Giving the chance Voit has the potential of being an elite player for the New York Yankees despite his only adequate defense at first base.Â Look for Voit to try and impress the Yankees and get as many at-bats as possible.
During the offseason along with staying in shape, Voit wrote a children’s book. “Lukeâ€™s Baseball Story.” It’s a book about his baseball life as a child and today.Â Luke said the original intent was to take the book and read it to kids’ classes in the Bronx.Â That plan fell through when the coronavirus pandemic made that impossible.Â He remembered when he met a famous athlete as a kid, he was overwhelmed and wanted the kids to experience that, as he taught them about hard work to made their dreams come true.
Luke Voit, during August of last year, married his longtime sweetheartÂ Victoria Rigman.Â They both attended the same school; Lafayette High School. Interestingly, Luke was on the baseball team, and Tori was a cheerleader for the school team. Luke has a younger brother John, who played defensive tackle with the Army Black Knights football team. Luke works out regularly and continues to challenge himself to be the best he can be.