In the midst of one of the greatest seasons in recent memory, the New York Yankees have had many unsung heroes play a major role in the massive lead they currently have in the AL East.
No one has had quite the impact as DJ Lemahieu, who was one of the most consistent hitters of the Colorado Rockies for the past 9 seasons. Lemahieu, or better known as "The Machine," tied for the lead with his 0.334 batting average. While the Rockies were always a good team, they could never make it to the top of the mountain. Now, for one of baseball's best hitters, Lemahieu has a chance at that elusive World Series ring.
Going into 2019, the New York Yankees' infield was stacked. Miguel Andujar and Glayber Torres were two of baseball's rising stars, Didi Gregorious was playing like an MVP in 2018, and Luke Voit was a solid find to fill the void at first base. That left the star second basemen from the Colorado Rockies as the odd man out to begin the season, and it was looking like Lemahieu would be leverage to make a move at the MLB Trade Deadline later in the season.
For Lemahieu, he was always the man in Colorado, and that's with playing around superstars like Trevor Story and Nolan Arenado. To begin the season, Lemahieu took some time to get adjusted to his new role but knew that he was playing for the greater good, as the Yankees were one of the favorites to win the World Series.
As baseball was heating up, one of the biggest stories through the first month, as I mentioned earlier this year, was the fact that the New York Yankees were hit with the injury bug, and it hit them hard.
With that, Lemahieu had his chance to show why he was the 2016 batting champion and most valuable player in the National League. The run that Lemhaieu has been on in 2019 is historic, to say the least. His 0.334 batting average through 114 games is tied for first place with Houston Astros star Geroge Springer.
With the Yankees fighting for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, DJ Lemahieu has been an unlikely source, but a welcomed one for the Yankees as his impact has helped boost the Yankees to 82 wins (as of 8/22/2019 10:08P PM EST) in 2019.
In January, DJ Lemahieu signed a two-year $24 million contract with the New York Yankees, which for a seasoned player is the perfect deal. But, after this year's performance, what will the Yankees do?
They have the remainder of 2019 and 2020 to figure it out. Will they let Lemahieu walk with stars like Glayber Torres, Gio Urschela, and Luke Voit set to make big impacts for the Yankees? Will there be a place for Lemahieu? The Yankees wouldn't want to let a guy walk, who through most of the summer was competing for an MVP trophy. Would they re-sign him and trade away one of the aforementioned prospects?
I'm very thankful that I am not the person who has to make that decision. Now, DJ Lemahieu has played his cards and will force the hand of the Yankees organization. He has done everything he needs to do to stay in pinstripes.
Sometimes, that's not how things work out, but he has put himself in a perfect situation to succeed.