It is quite obvious DJ LeMahieu has not been nearly as good as he was in 2019 and 2020. He recently got paid, but even after his free-agent payday, $15 million for a guy of DJ’s caliber and versatility is still a pretty good deal. Plus, he seems to be picking it up with the weather.
Over the last two weeks, LeMahieu is hitting .319 (15-for-52) and has hit three home runs. During that span he has had 47 at-bats (15.67 AB/HR) — he hit three home runs in 231 at-bats this season (77 AB/HR). This is a good sign, as it means he is hitting the ball in the air more often. In actuality, LeMahieu has always been more a ground-ball hitter:
Ground-ball rate (%)
One issue this year for LeMahieu has been his hard-hit rate (based on FanGraphs “Hard%”):
Part of it may have to do with a deadened ball, although the MLB average for hard-hit rate this year is only down slightly compared to last year, going from 33 percent to 32 percent.
All in all, LeMahieu’s numbers have been trending in the right direction across the board over the last few weeks:
The dotted lines above represent his average from that season, so a lot of his stats this year are creeping up to around where we expected them to be. The one outlier is his strikeout rate, but as you can see that has taken a dive this past month.
Is he ever going to be as good as he was in 2019 and 2020? Maybe not. But if DJ is putting the ball in play and driving the ball in the air to right field consistency, we hopefully can start to get DJ LeMVP back.