Heading into the month of August, the Yankees ranked towards the bottom of all in baseball in production from the first base position. Among Tyler Austin and then Greg Bird, the club struggled to produce from power numbers the position is normally known for, until the emergence of Luke Voit.
Luke Voit was acquired from the Cardinals in exchange for Chasen Shreve on July 29 of the 2018 season, and within a month became an instant fan favorite with the spark he added to the Yankees lineup along with the fun energy that came with it.
Voit, 27, slashed an absurd .333/.405/.689 while smashing 14 longballs and driving in 33 with the Yankees, giving him an overall wRC+ of 187 on the season. If you translate his 2018 campaign over a full 162, he’d eclipse a 50 HR/120 RBI season. Aberration? Tough to say. Voit is also coming off back-to-back years in the minors where he slugged over .500 along with posting OBP’s hovering around .400.
Heading into Spring Training, disregarding any affecting roster moves, first base is Voit’s job to lose. His only competition, as of now, will be the once highly-favored Greg Bird who hit a mere .199 with 11 homers in an injury-influenced 82-game season. Cashman has stated that it’s Voit’s “job to lose” and Bird’s “job to win.”
So what should the Yankees and Yankee fans expect of Luke Voit in 2019?
It’s safe to say that the former 22nd-round pick is one of the hardest players to predict how his season will turn out. I couldn’t call anyone crazy for predicting either a really productive season or a lost one for Voit. In all likelihood, Voit won’t reach numbers similar to the aforementioned 50 homers and 120 RBI he was on pace for, but is a 25/90 season attainable? Or even 30/100?
If he can stay healthy, he’ll at least get the chance to prove that he isn’t another Shane Spencer, and the end result could very well be the Yankees finding their first baseman for the near future.