13 Aug Getting to Know Dj LeMahieu
The Bronx Bombers skimped on expensive free agents this past off season in favor of the cheaper, complementary infielder DJ LeMahieu. With a .302 career batting average (eighth- best among active major leaguers), the 6’4”, 215-pound LeMahieu is the baseball rebel reject- ing the launch-angle-crazed, homer-obsessed modern game. By Fangraphs WAR, he’s been the Yankees best player and he leads the AL in batting average. He’s rewarded the Yankees this year, with an All-Star campaign and career numbers as injuries mounted around him. Most people would consider him the MVP of the Yankees this season and maybe the entire AL.
Name: David John (DJ) LeMahieu Nickname: LeMachine
Born: July 13, 1988 (age 31) in Visalia, California . MLB debut: May 30, 2011, for the Chicago Cubs
Teams: Chicago Cubs (2011)
Colorado Rockies (2012–2018)
New York Yankees (2019–present)
College: Louisiana State University
Salary: $12 million for 2019
Education: Louisiana State University, Brother Rice High School
Favorite Player Growing up: Derek Jeter
How do you like playing in New York? I love it. To me, it’s Major League Baseball at its best. I had been in a routine for seven years out in Colorado, so spring training was a bit of an adjustment for me. But once baseball started, baseball’s baseball.
What drives you? Competition. I love the game of baseball. I love to hit the ball. It was my goal to make it to the major leagues, and now it’s to win and have a good career and be a good teammate.
You seem to be hitting a lot more home runs this year. Are you turning into a power hitter? Are the Bronx Bombers rubbing off on you? I think, to hit for power, you have to be a good hitter. You don’t see too many guys that hit for a ton of homers that are bad hitters. So, for me, just being a good hitter, having competitive at-bats, I think the power comes naturally, at least that’s what I hope for. First and foremost, I want to be a good hitter, and I want to be a competitive guy in the box that pitchers don’t want to face. When you get to this level, you realize that with the pitching nowadays, runs are so important, and it’s just that for me, I’m always trying to get on base. But when there are guys in scoring position or guys on base, it’s kind of my chance to make a mark on the game.
Why do you think you have been so successful this year? It just seems like I’ve had a lot of guys on base in front of me. I just feel like it’s a really good lineup, and I don’t feel like the game is resting on my shoulders in that situation. Watching these guys day in and day out, and watching their compete level no matter the situation, I feel if I don’t get the job done, the next guy will. If I can just get on base and have good at-bats, I feel like that sets up the inning well.
What would you say is your goal this year? Definitely to win a World Series and continue to get better as a player. We have such a great team and I’m proud to be here