The Yankees are going to get exponential value from No. 9 hitter

MLB: New York Yankees at San Francisco Giants
Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports

Teams typically reserve the No. 9 spot in the batting order for their weakest offensive player, but the Yankees have the luxury of placing one of their most seasoned players, DJ LeMahieu, in this position.

After missing the first two months of the season due to a right foot injury, LeMahieu is back and making a noticeable impact both offensively and defensively. Despite just returning and acclimating to live gameplay for the first time this year, he’s already showing promising signs of regaining his form.

Players often struggle for months to recover their batting eye, but LeMahieu boasts a .375 on-base percentage, hitting .231 with an 18.8% walk rate and a 12.5% strikeout rate. His presence is particularly valuable as the lineup turns over to the top, where Anthony Volpe has been excelling as the leadoff hitter.

MLB: New York Yankees at Los Angeles Angels, dj lemahieu
Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees Are Getting Tremendous Value From DJ LeMahieu

LeMahieu’s offensive metrics include a 63.6% hard-hit rate and an average exit velocity of 91.3, both of which indicate he still has significant productivity left. His performance enhances a Yankees lineup that is already formidable with players like Aaron Judge and Juan Soto leading the charge.

On the defensive front, LeMahieu has logged 26 innings at third base this season, maintaining a perfect fielding percentage and recording one out above average.

While it’s easy to underappreciate LeMahieu’s contributions, he provides more than just above-average defense at third base. He is also a capable first baseman, a role that has become increasingly crucial as Anthony Rizzo requires more rest after playing almost every game up until LeMahieu’s return.

With the team facing various injuries this season, including setbacks to key players like Gerrit Cole, Jon Berti, and Clarke Schmidt, the Yankees are gradually regaining health. LeMahieu’s return has already proven beneficial, signaling a positive shift for the team as they continue their campaign.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: