Top 10 Most Interesting Yankees in 2020: Luke Voit
By Matt Cohen
I’m a huge fan of prospects who perform really well in the minors and for some reason never get a fair shake in the majors until the Yankees grab them for some not top tier prospects. I especially like them when they are built like tanks and hit the ball incredibly hard. Such is the story of Luke Voit.
The Yankees traded for Voit in July 2018. They gave up Giovanny Gallegos (who had a terrific 2019) and Chasen Shreve (who did not) and also got back some international bonus money.
At this point, Voit had a grand total of 125 at bats in the bigs and, other than 11 at bats for the Cardinals in 2018, had been at AAA. He was mashing at AAA with a .299/.391/.500 slash line. But he was mediocre in 124 plate appearances with the Cardinals in 2017 so it seems that the Cardinals viewed him as expendable. He was also 27 at the time.
Of course, Voit killed it on arriving in the Bronx. He hit .333/.405/.689 with 14 home runs in 132 at bats and 1.3 WAR (ESPN) in roughly a quarter of a season. Over a full season, those are all star level numbers for a first baseman (Peter Alonso was at 4.8 WAR in a full season in 2019).
Voit’s 2018 was decidedly less impressive. His slash line was .263/.378/.464 with 1.7 WAR in 118 games. He was hurt and this sapped his power. He only had 21 home runs and his isolated power (slugging less batting average) fell from .350 to .200. He was diagnosed with an abdominal injury and spent some time on the DL. This certainly, at least partially, contributed to his poor performance.
Voit combines significant power potential with high walk rates. He’s also terrific fun to watch. I’m hoping that he returns to his 2018 form and if he does, will be a very dangerous addition to the middle of the Yankee order.