The Yankees scouted Luke Voit for more than a year before they managed to pry him away from the Cardinals. 2020 shows the wait was more than worth it.
Luke Voit, by any definition, is tearing up the league. Moreover, he is proving to be an essential cog in the Yankees lineup – and well on his way to being the team’s most valuable position player.
Where would the Yankees be without Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, and Giancarlo Stanton in their lineup? That’s an easy one.
They’d be exactly where they are with Judge and Stanton virtually non-existent and waylaid again with injuries. At the same time, Sanchez remains entrapped by the inability of his bat to find the ball.
Where would the Yankees be without Luke Voit, you ask. Ah, now we’re talking.
Luke Voit M.V.P.: Let’s Talk About It
How do you quantify the season Luke Voit is having? The numbers say he’s leading the league in Home Runs (13) and Slugging (.709). He’s carrying a .313 B.A. with a .368 On-Base Percentage, 23 runs scored, 26 driving in, with only one error in 186 chances.
Oh, and he has an OPS+ of 185, which means he’s producing at a clip that is better than 85% of the players in the league.
To be sure, the trade made by Brian Cashman with his typical patience and steadfastness on display again has to rank among his best over his 25-year tenure as the Yankees G.M.
Oddly, Luke Voit’s W.A.R. is only 1.2, which is still better than good, but less than his career W.A.R. of 4.2.
But no matter what baseball vocabulary we choose to use, Luke Voit does not only have one helluva year underway but to imagine the Yankees without him leaves his team and Yankees fans shuddering at the thought.
Luke Voit, unlike say a Ken Griffey Jr. or, in modern times, a Gleyber Torres does not look like a major league ballplayer. At 6’3″, Voit weighs in at 255 lbs. At best, he’d be described as “chunky.”
Luke Voit has yet to steal a base during his career as a big leaguer. But he also has yet to attempt to steal a base – and this is where he shines as a player who knows what he can and can’t do on a baseball diamond.
Aaron Boone Adds Another Dimension To Luke Voit
Voit’s manager, Aaron Boone, kicks it one notch higher when he talks about Voit’s presence and professionalism in the clubhouse (video).
Far from being a matinee idol in the Bronx, Luke Voit is one of those players who carry their lunchbox to work every day, eager and ready to play, and with little or no fanfare.
In that way, he reminds of former Yankees great and fellow first baseman, Don Mattingly. Just show up, do your job, and the rest will take care of itself.
Don’t get me wrong. D.J. LeMahieu, because of his versatility and consistency with a bat, is still THE Yankees M.V.P. as long as he’s wearing the pinstripes.
For 2020, It’s Luke Voit – M.V.P. – Case Closed
But for this one season, it’s Luke Voit who is having a moment, and the one who is carrying the Yankees on his back.
It probably hasn’t occurred to Voit he is doing just that, and the Yankees can only hope that he continues to stay and play within himself, while not paying any attention to articles written about him like this one.
In the meantime, it’s the at-bats of Luke Voit that should not be missed. Taking the base-on-balls, hitting ’em where they ain’t, lunging this way and that in the field, it’s all part of the repertoire of a ballplayer coming into his own.
And yes, the Yankees would be nowhere where they are today if not for Luke Voit.