Luke Voit earned his pinstripes in a big way at the end of the 2018 season, but was it enough for the Yankees to depend on him in 2019?
Luke Voit became near and dear to all Yankees fans at the end of the 2018 season. He was acquired in a trade and he burst on the scene in a big way. In 39 games, he posted an outrageous 188 OPS+, led by 14 home runs.
That is simply not sustainable. Those are ridiculous numbers and over a full season, a 188 OPS+ is MVP type stuff. That is not Luke Voit. That doesn’t mean he won’t be pretty good though. His fly ball rate was up and he was hitting the ball hard. There are numbers that show he may be able to be a decent hitter.
The problem is that he is still essentially an unknown. I am in no way saying that he won’t be a decent hitter. But there is a chance he won’t be, just as there is a chance he will be. He is a soon to be 28-year-old, who just now, at 27, had a few breakout weeks.
For a team that disappointed, and hopes to be a world series contender, I don’t think you can go into 2019 with an unknown at first base. As it stands, Greg Bird and Luke Voit are the two first basemen on the roster.
Brian Cashman has already made it clear that both guys will still get their chance, basically saying that Voit earned the chance and Bird is still under control so he’ll get a chance. Whether the leash is long for Bird remains to be seen, but I presume it’s much shorter than it has been.
Now, you could argue the Yankees have bigger needs and you would be right. Here’s my argument: This is the New York Yankees. Do what you need to do to be great. Don’t let them tell you they don’t have enough money for it all or something along those lines. They can do it if they want to, just like the Red Sox did this year.
I’m sure the luxury tax really hurts when you’re carrying the trophy on the victory parade.