Yankees’ offense gearing up for a bottom-half boost

MLB: Oakland Athletics at New York Yankees, dj lemahieu
Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees‘ offense is beginning to find its rhythm, spearheaded by Aaron Judge’s recent surge at the plate. While Judge’s overall batting average stands at .235 with a .369 on-base percentage this season, his performance over the past 15 days has been exceptional, boasting a .295/.426/.659 slash line with four home runs and nine RBIs across 44 at-bats.

Yankees’ Dynamic Duo Heating Up

The consistent hitting from Judge and Juan Soto has proven that they can power the Yankees’ offense single-handedly. Beyond these stars, the team benefits from a variety of key players, all of whom are preparing to welcome another seasoned player to enhance the lower half of the batting order.

Stabilizing the Third Base

The third base role has seen a rotation of players this season, primarily featuring Oswaldo Cabrera and Jon Berti. Berti, unfortunately, has faced challenges with injuries, necessitating a rehab period following a stint on the 15-day injured list.

In more positive news, DJ LeMahieu is on the brink of returning to active play, evidenced by his recent activities running bases and gearing up for another rehab assignment.

MLB: New York Yankees at Kansas City Royals
Oct 1, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; New York Yankees first baseman DJ LeMahieu (26) hits a single against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

LeMahieu had to exit a rehab game prematurely after just one at-bat approximately two weeks ago. Since then, the Yankees have been cautious, giving him the necessary time to fully recover and regain his form.

At 35, LeMahieu managed a .243 batting average and a .327 on-base percentage last season, hitting 15 home runs and driving in 44 runs. His performance improved markedly after the dismissal of Dillon Lawson as the primary hitting coach, indicating potential underutilized value.

Anthony Volpe has secured the leadoff position, and despite some recent inconsistencies, it’s unlikely he’ll be displaced. This allows the Yankees to slot LeMahieu into the lower part of the lineup, taking advantage of his consistent contact skills and seasoned experience. The hope is that LeMahieu can rediscover his 2022 form, where he recorded a .261 average with a .357 on-base percentage.

The Yankees are known for their robust offensive lineup, and LeMahieu also brings substantial defensive skills to third base. Last season, he recorded a .994 fielding percentage over 592.2 innings, with three defensive runs saved and three outs above average. LeMahieu’s defensive prowess significantly exceeds that of Cabrera and offers more reliability than Berti, who, while a competent defender, does not match LeMahieu’s overall capabilities.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: