Can the Yankees expect Luke Voit to bounce back in 2020 and produce consistently following an up-and-down campaign in 2019?
Across the years, we’ve seen players join the Yankees off the scrap heap and quickly become an impact player. Just in 2019, guys like Mike Tauchman, Cameron Maybin, and Gio Urshela were all brought in as depth pieces and contributed in big ways to the Bomber’s 103-win campaign. Another guy who stands out in this list is Luke Voit, the first baseman the Yanks acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals for Giovanny Gallegos and Chasen Shreve. Originally thought of as nothing more of perhaps an emergency first-base option, Voit quickly grew into a fan favorite in late 2018 and 2019. Now, in 2020, Voit has a chance to build on his impressive year-and-a-half in the Bronx.
It didn’t take long for Voit to make an impact after arriving in New York City. After beginning his Yankee tenure a subpar 4-for-18, Voit took off on August 24, tallying two home runs and three hits against the Orioles in Baltimore. He then had another three hits and a home run two nights later. From then on, Voit was off and running, finishing with an outstanding .333 batting average and a .405 on-base percentage. He also cranked 14 home runs and had an OPS of 1.095.
Voit picked up right where he left off to begin 2019. He hit a home run on Opening Day and was quickly establishing himself as one of the top first basemen in the sport, even earning himself American League Player of the Week honors. Voit was silencing the doubters who brushed off his 2018 season as a fluke in showing that, not only can he hit, but he can get on base, too. Through June 29, Voit was hitting a very solid .280 with an impressive .393 on-base percentage. He also had 17 home runs and 50 RBI to go with his amazing slash line.
Second Half Struggles & Injuries
Unfortunately, Voit’s 2019 wasn’t completely peaches and cream. In a game on June 29 against the Boston Red Sox in Lond, England, Voit left the game early with a lower abdominal injury. After returning On July 13, Voit then left another game on July 30 with a core injury. It was later revealed that said injury was a sports hernia. This sidelined Voit until August 30, where he finally returned. from his return to the end of the season on September 28, Voit hit an abysmal .200 with a poor .319 OBP in 94 plate appearances. He only hit two home runs, finishing with just 21 total on the season. Voit’s struggles ultimately led to him not playing in the postseason.
What Can the Yankees Expect in 2020?
Well, the good news here is that it appears that Voit’s struggles seemed to be injury-related. Voit’s issues at the plate wasn’t because his talent was faltering, rather the injury was preventing him from performing to his best possible ability. Ideally, Voit can come back healthier than ever in 2020 and get back to his bashing ways before the hernia. While we can’t be sure that Voit will bounce back fully to what he was early in 2020, we can infer that, as he gets healthier, he will only get better and better. The New York Yankees should be excited to see what their slugging first baseman can do for them in the hunt for a World Series Title.
Expect Voit to come back strong, and if Voit stays healthy, there’s no reason to not believe the righty power-hitter can produce with the best of them in 2020. It will be important to watch Voit throughout spring training, and that could give us an indication of what he can do this season.