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Is the real DJ LeMahieu standing up?
After posting insane hitting numbers the last two seasons with the Yankees, LeMahieu found himself entering June with a .262 batting average – not indicative of the reigning AL batting champion.
But maybe LeMahieu is back to his old ways, creating good at-bats and swinging at the pitches he wants and seeing it hit grass. As the Yanks’ trusty leadoff hitter, that’s what manager Aaron Boone simply loves to see.
Over his last six games, LeMahieu has had five multi-hit games, which has led to a 10-for-28 stretch with one homer, three doubles and five RBI. The Yankees may have gone 3-3 in those games, which includes a late rally to beat the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday night. But when LeMahieu is getting on base at this clip, good things generally happen.
The Yankees haven’t had that consistency this season from the man they signed to a five-year pact because of what he’s achieved the previous two campaigns. He’s striking out at a higher clip than usual, and it seems that he is topping the ball more than normal, though Statcast shows his 39.5 percent topped rate is actually lower than the 42.3 mark last season. Maybe it’s because LeMahieu has hit into a bunch of double play this year.
Nonetheless, it hasn’t been the LeMahieu Yankee fans have come to love at the top of the order. Of course, they’ve been spoiled with one of the best hitters in the game since he came over from the Colorado Rockies.
But prior to his first season with New York in 2019, LeMahieu only hit .276 with Colorado with a .321 on-base percentage.
With the Yanks having troubles elsewhere around their lineup, Boone would obviously love it if LeMahieu could return to his hot-hitting self. These past few games have indicated he might be on the horizon of a hot streak, and it’s clear he’s seeing the ball better with just one strikeout in those six games.
It’s a small sample size. And frankly, it’s still been a little over two months since the season began, so there’s tons of time left for LeMahieu to get back to his old self.
Unfortunately, the Yankees are in a situation in the AL East where they’re eight games back of the division-leading Tampa Bay Rays and six games back of the Boston Red Sox in second place.
So, if LeMahieu can get hot and help spark the top of the lineup to get over the hump of being 25th-best in runs per game (3.91), that would only aid the Yanks back to their normal winning selves.