Anyone that follows my columns knows that I am a huge Luke Voit fan. Naturally I have to defend my guy for the heat is getting for his recent comments about deserving playing time. I’m not defending Luke Voit as a fan, I’m defending Luke Voit because he is right. He does deserve at bats.
The Yankees need Anthony Rizzo. Rizzo is a left handed bat, which the Yankees have desperately needed all season long. Anthony Rizzo is an excellent defensive first baseman. Luke Voit acknowledges that both Anthony Rizzo and Voit himself deserve playing time. This isn’t a “me first” type comment, it’s a team first type comment. This team is much, much better with both Rizzo and Voit in the lineup. Anthony Rizzo 100% deserves to be in this lineup.
Taking nothing away from Anthony Rizzo, how anyone can make an argument against Luke Voit playing everyday would be beyond comprehension.
Luke Voit is an absolute beast in the batter’s box. His bat speed is legendary. His opposite field power is legendary. This is a man that dedicates himself to working harder than anyone which shows in his production.
I love Luke Voit’s energy. He was a football player before he played baseball, he brings a different type of energy to that team. A great example of his energy was how he responded to getting playing time when he got back from his recent IL stint. Instead of moping and being angry that the Yankees not only traded for Anthony Rizzo but openly shopped him in potential trade deadline deals, he returned with a fire. He had multiple clutch hits against the White Sox and the Red Sox. He was challenged and he responded to that challenge with intensity. The Yankees have lacked intensity this year, Luke Voit brings intensity every day.
Tonight’s Goal Line line up was another challenge that Luke Voit responded to. He ripped a ball down the line, scoring two runs. Luke Voit sliding into the leadoff spot and putting DJ LeMahieu behind either Aaron Judge, Joey Gallo, or Giancarlo Stanton would be a different, more intriguing look.
Luke Voit is a tremendous hitter. Obviously his opposite field power plays really well in Yankee Stadium, but it also plays well on the road. He has a ferocious swing that reminds me of Gary Sheffield. His bat speed through the strike zone allows him that extra millisecond to pick up on a pitch and drive it, with power, the other way. This man was born to hit.
One thing Luke Voit is not going to do is win Gold Gloves. That does not make him a bad fielder. Luke Voit isn’t going to win any games for the Yankees with his fielding but he also hasn’t lost any games with his fielding either. He’s solid enough defensively. However with multiple Gold Glove winning Anthony Rizzo playing first base, then Luke Voit should be cemented at the DH spot for the rest of the season. Focusing on what he does best, hit. Allowing Luke Voit to focus on hitting can potentially send him on a hot streak. We’ve seen his hot streaks before, the guy can rake the rest of the season while providing some serious pop.
Luke Voit is criminally underrated, when being shopped at the deadline, I read an article in which an anonymous General Manager said he is a strict pull hitter who is atrocious in the field. Neither of those accusations have any validity at all. I hope Luke Voit saw that comment, I hope that just adds fuel to the fire that burns inside him.
In order to put Luke Voit at DH, then Giancarlo Stanton has to play the outfield, there can be no more excuses. The Yankees best potential lineup puts Luke Voit at DH, Giancarlo Stanton in LF, Joey Gallo slides to CF, then Brett Gardner comes in as a late game defensive replacement.
The concern about Giancarlo Stanton playing the field is that he will pull or tweak a muscle resulting in an IL stint. That is a fair concern but let me spin it this way. If you have been watching the Yankees the past 3 seasons, who would you rather have in the line up, a “never lived up to the hype” Giancarlo Stanton or the fiery Luke Voit? The correct answer is Luke Voit. Luke Voit has proven to be clutch, he has proven he can handle New York and all the pressure that comes with playing in New York.
Luke Voit deserves at bats. Enda story.
I don’t have any issue with Luke Voit stating this either. I know he was called out on The Michael Kay Show but that isn’t fair at all. Luke Voit is confident, he wants to play, he wants to contribute. He wants to win. What is wrong with that? I’m glad he made his case. No one can say he took the demotion in stride. No, instead he spoke up and let us know that this man wants to win. This man wants to contribute.
One thing we love in New York is athletes being genuine. Alex Rodriguez never figured that out, it always showed and it always played against him. Being genuine only helps athletes in New York. It’s another reason why I love Luke Voit, he has the right attitude to shine in New York. That’s the type of guy that comes through in the playoffs.
We all have to hope Aaron Boone can get Luke Voit consistent at bats. The Yankees are really starting to make a turnaround, if they want to make a deep postseason run, then they need all hands on deck. There aren’t many guys I want to see in a clutch spot than Luke Voit.