New York Yankees: Will DJ LeMahieu make a push for the batting title?

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu

D.J. LeMahieu, an infielder for the New York Yankees, has the chance to be the first player in the modern era to win the batting title in both leagues.

LeMahieu won the title with the Colorado Rockies in 2016. He would make Yankee history by joining: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio (2x), Snuffy Stirnweiss, Mickey Mantle, Don Mattingly, Paul O’Neil, and Bernie Williams. All of these players are big names in Yankees franchise history (Baseball-Reference). For LeMahieu to be possible on this list, he would be considered on the greatest all-around hitters when it is all said and done.

Lemahieu is currently batting .339, which leads the big leagues. Michael Brantley (.333) and Rafael Devers (.332) are not far behind (MLB At Bat). Today, August 18th, LeMahieu added to his average by going 2 for 5, with a home run and 3 RBIs. He can also be involved in the American League Most Valuable Player conversation. Where would the Yankees be in the standings without him? With nearly 20 players being placed on the IL this season, Lemahieu breaks out, leading his team in multiple categories this season. He is undoubtedly the leader and player the Yankees need and should be signed long term.

The Key to Lemahieu’s Success at the Plate

According to MLB.com, at a minimum of 500 swings, LeMahieu is first in the league in the highest rate of hard-contact per swing percentage at 22%. Hard contact is considered when the baseball’s exit velocity exceeds 95 miles per hour. Mookie Betts is second at 20.8%. He increased his swing rate to 45.8% from 41.7% last season as well.

Similar too many Yankee hitters, Lemahieu can hit with power to the opposite field which is an unfair advantage in Yankee Stadium. All of these factors are leading to the surge of Lemahieu’s stats this season. The Yankees need him to continue this superstar performance in the playoffs, while everyone comes back from injury.