Who is the offensive MVP for Yankees so far?
The New York Yankees are 38-20 heading into their series with the Toronto Blue Jays. The Bombers have won the past nine series and are currently 2 1/2 games up on the second place Tampa Bay Rays in the A.L. East. The Yankees have gotten plenty of help along the way, and for the most part it’s been a collective effort.
There are really four standouts offensively that have all gotten a ton of credit. There’s a case to be made for each of them as the Offensive MVP so far. The Offensive MVP debate is one that will rage on for the rest of the season. Let’s make a case for each of these stars.
The case for DJ Lemahieu
The one for MVP that probably sticks out the most in Yankees fans minds is DJ Lemahieu. Lemahieu has hit .459 with RISP, been a part of pretty much every Yankee victory (including a walk-off hit just a few weeks ago) and has been batting over .300 for most of the season.
While Lemahieu doesn’t have the same “pop” as two of the others on this list, he is the most consistent hitter on the Yankees. He had a very brief slump earlier in May but over the season he’s batting .311 with six home runs and 34 RBI.
Lemahieu was brought in to the Yankees because he is a former Batting Title champion and a Gold Glove second baseman. He wanted to play for the Yankees and although there was no spot slated for him, Brian Cashman knew he couldn’t pass up on such a good player. DJ has brought the thunder for the entire season and is the front runner for this early-season crown.
The case for Gary Sanchez
The argument for Gary Sanchez is just as strong as DJ Lemahieu, although Sanchez isn’t nearly as consistent. He will follow up a four strikeout night with two home runs in a game, especially against the Baltimore Orioles. In all seriousness, Gary’s power this season has been a pleasant surprise considering he batted under .200 last season.
His 18 home runs already match his season total last year, and his .267 average is nothing to scoff at. With 35 RBI and a .341 OBP, he’s getting on base at a good clip and driving in runs when they count. He is still a bit of a free swinger but when you’re getting that kind of production from your catcher, how can he not be in the running for MVP?
The case for Luke Voit
Another slugger on the list, Voit has proven to both Yankee fans and team management that his magical 2018 run wasn’t a fluke. If anything, Voit has been a more polished player this season. His production is excellent (.268, 15 HR, 39 RBI) but his patience at the plate is incredible.
Voit had a 42 game on-base streak that extended from the 2018 season into early this year. His OBP is .379, meaning he gets on base nearly four out of every ten times up at the plate. He constantly is getting pitchers deep in counts and he’s become a well-rounded hitter. Voit also produces productive runs, and he isn’t a compiler in the least bit.
The case for Gio Urshela
Last but not least, there has to be a case for the one and only Gio Urshela. Urshela came out of nowhere after the injury to Miguel Andujar that ended his season. Without Urshela stepping up and playing the was he has, maybe Andujar tries to play through his injury again, and maybe he hurts himself even more. Regardless, Urshela has been a Godsend to the Yankees at a position they need him most.
He was always a great fielder but being a career .225 hitter, not much was thought of his bat. He’s completely turned it around this season, batting .329 currently with three HRs and 23 RBI. His production may not be as high as the other three on this list, but he is one of the most clutch hitters on the Yankees. From hitting game-tying home runs in the ninth to knocking in runs with the bases loaded, Urshela is as calm and collected as they come.
Who do you think is the Yankees’ offensive MVP so far? My money is on DJ Lemahieu because of his consistency and level-headed nature, but a case can really be made for any of these four. With the season on the line early, the four players on this list have stepped up in an unimaginable way. Without them, the Yankees may not have been able to weather this early injury storm.