Yesterday, Yankees infielder DJ LeMahieu had two hits in three at-bats to clinch his second batting tile.
LeMahieu finished the season batting .364, significantly beating last year’s champ and runner up Tim Anderson who finished at .322. LeMahieu becomes the first Yankee since Bernie Williams, in 1998, to win the American League batting title and only the fourth Yankee to lead MLB.
Also, DJ becomes the first player in modern MLB history to win a batting title in both leagues, as he had previously won the National League title in 2016 as a member of the Rockies.
There is something so relaxing in watching a DJ LeMahieu at-bat. His approach at the plate seems almost out of place in 2020. Defenders have to respect his ability to hit the ball in any direction and are unable to utilize a shift. LeMahieu also seems to be one of the few players not worried about hitting home runs. While some of his teammates are hitting lazy fly balls and hoping they will carry over the wall, LeMahieu is hitting ropes down the line for doubles. He always seems to be getting clutch hits with runners on base or starting rallies at the top of the order.
LeMahieu finished the season second in the American League with 2.9 bWar. The only player ahead of him is Cleveland’s ace Shane Bieber. LeMahieu finds himself in the middle of an MVP race and will be critical for the Yankees if they have a successful postseason. Fortunately for the Yankees, The Machine seems locked in and ready to go.
DJ LeMahieu: "I know we‘re going to be ready on Tuesday. I love that team in our clubhouse…I think we’re the best team in league still. We’re definitely the most talented."
With LeMahieu’s contract expiring, the Yankees would be wise to learn from Colorado’s mistake. After 2018 the Rockies let LeMahieu walk which has proven to be a costly decision. LeMahieu was the best player in the Yankees lineup in 2020 and should be a key contributor for the next four seasons. With a healthy Judge and Stanton behind him, his ability to get on base becomes one of the most important attributes for any Yankee.