DJ LeMahieu
DJ LeMahieu
30-Year-Old Second Baseman2B
New York Yankees
2019 Fantasy Outlook
LeMahieu flipped the script in 2018, bashing a career-high 15 homers despite two DL stints. It was a conscious decision to sell out for power, with LeMahieu doubling his launch angle en route to a 29.5% flyball rate, seven points above his career rate. It came with him sacrificing his all-fields contact, however, something even the Coors Effect couldn't mask. While LeMahieu's .271 average was solid, it was disappointing for a player drafted to be a pillar in the category after three consecutive .300-plus seasons. He landed in another favorable home park in Yankee Stadium, but LeMahieu is a .264/.311/.364 career road hitter -- he faces a stiff challenge to re-emerge as the batting-average stabilizer he once was, particularly if he maintains the new swing. Even with a more balanced plate approach, his counting totals will likely drop now that he's a super-utility player no longer buoyed by 82 games at altitude. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a two-year, $24 million contract with the Yankees in January of 2019.
Heads to AL East
2BNew York Yankees
January 11, 2019
LeMahieu has agreed to a two-year, $24 million deal with the Yankees, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports.
According to Jack Curry of YES Network, the Yankees plan to use LeMahieu as a super-utility player, deploying him at second base, first base and third base. One way for him to get significant playing time would be if Troy Tulowitzki struggles or gets hurt before Didi Gregorius (Tommy John surgery) returns around the All-Star break, which would force Gleyber Torres to move to shortstop and open up everyday work at the keystone. Another potential opportunity booster would be if the Yankees can find a trade partner for Miguel Andujar, in which case LeMahieu could get the bulk of the work at the hot corner. He has slashed just .265/.319/.410 (93 wRC+) away from Coors Field over the past two seasons. While he could see a slight power boost in the cozy confines of Yankee Stadium, that's not LeMahieu's game (53.8 career GB%). If the Yankees let Gregorius and Tulowitzki walk in free agency after the season, LeMahieu would likely slot in as the everyday second baseman with Torres moving to shortstop for 2020. This signing likely means the Yankees won't be signing Manny Machado.
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Batting Stats
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Minor League Game Log
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2016
Since 2016vs Left .930 541 94 15 74 8 .340 .397 .532
Since 2016vs Right .769 1357 195 19 118 15 .300 .362 .407
2018vs Left .900 189 35 6 26 4 .330 .360 .540
2018vs Right .675 392 55 9 36 2 .249 .303 .373
2017vs Left .961 173 31 5 24 1 .362 .421 .539
2017vs Right .724 509 64 3 40 5 .293 .358 .365
2016vs Left .931 179 28 4 24 3 .331 .415 .517
2016vs Right .903 456 76 7 42 8 .354 .417 .486
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2016
OPS at Home
OPS at Home
OPS at Home
OPS at Home
Since 2016Home .889 986 177 14 108 13 .345 .411 .479
Since 2016Away .735 912 112 20 84 10 .277 .330 .405
2018Home .793 309 54 4 30 5 .317 .360 .433
2018Away .698 272 36 11 32 1 .229 .277 .422
2017Home .813 342 54 3 35 3 .327 .396 .417
2017Away .753 340 41 5 29 3 .294 .352 .401
2016Home 1.064 335 69 7 43 5 .391 .473 .591
2016Away .747 300 35 4 23 6 .303 .353 .395
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Stat Review
How does DJ LeMahieu compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring DJ LeMahieu
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
LeMahieu hit over .300 for a third consecutive season, but his power fell back from an already below-average level. That was a result of his flyball rate falling to below 20 percent, with LeMahieu posting the seventh-lowest Average Launch Angle in baseball (min. 200 at-bats). He mustered just 18 extra-base hits in 300 at-bats at Coors Field (three homers), and his success rate on the basepaths fell again (6-for-11). The 29-year-old's plate skills are strong -- he had a 13.2 percent strikeout rate and 8.7 percent walk rate last season -- and some tweaks to his swing could change his power outlook considerably, but right now, LeMahieu is mostly a two-category player (average and runs). Something to keep in mind: he's entering his final season before free agency and may be motivated to make some changes.
LeMahieu flew under the radar a bit in 2015 despite putting together a solid year, but he made the league take notice with his 2016 showing. After putting up a solid .746 OPS in 2015, he broke out to the tune of a .348/.416/.495 line, winning the National League batting title. He also put up career highs in doubles (32), RBI (66) and runs (104). The All-Star even muscled up for 11 home runs, equaling the number he hit over the previous two years combined. Thanks to all of this and an outstanding 0.83 BB/K, LeMahieu has become a steady mid-tier option at the keystone, but the longevity of his current levels of production will hinge on his future with the Rockies. He's under club control with Colorado through the 2018 campaign. LeMahieu hit .303/.353/.395 with four of his 11 homers on the road in 2016, while his output soared to a .391/.473/.591 line at Coors Field.
LeMahieu needed 150 games to mash six home runs despite playing 75 games at Coors Field, where Dodgers rookie Joc Pederson hit four home runs as a visitor in 2015 alone. Still, LeMahieu managed to sustain his solid contact skills and his ability to spray the ball across Colorado's huge outfield to record a .301/.358/.388 line with 85 runs scored, all career highs. His 23 stolen bases also marked a career high, and he had an 88 percent success rate despite being caught 10 times in 20 stolen-base attempts in 2014. Second base projects to be a weak offensive position once again, and while LeMahieu wouldn't be worth a look outside of Colorado, he's making the most out of his at-bats. If he can maintain a high average and keep running regularly, he will be worthwhile again in 2016 despite his power deficiency.
Thanks largely to his standout defense, LeMahieu retained a regular role throughout 2014 for the Rockies, playing a career-high 149 games and leading all NL second basemen in both Defensive Runs Saved and Ultimate Zone Rating en route to his first Gold Glove. Unfortunately, this was of little relevance in the fantasy realm, where LeMahieu’s minimal power (25 extra-base hits in 538 plate appearances) and presence in the bottom third of the order deflated his counting stats. LeMahieu even noticed a decent-sized drop in the offensive categories he’d typically been an asset, as an increased strikeout rate led to a 13-point drop in his batting average from 2013, while decreased efficiency on the basepaths (10-for-20 on steal attempts) made him more reluctant to run as the season progressed. The 26-year-old’s tremendous glove should grant him the upper hand in remaining atop the Rockies' depth chart at second base, but even with the added benefit of calling Coors Field his home park, LeMahieu will struggle to emerge as much more than a lower-tier fantasy option at his position.
After Josh Rutledge flopped as the second baseman to start the season, LeMahieu stepped in to provide an immediate upgrade with a steady batting average and excellent glovework. Those attributes were to be expected based on what LeMahieu had delivered a season prior, but new manager Walt Weiss’s more aggressive approach on the basepaths allowed the second baseman to showcase another dimension of his game with 18 stolen bases. The inability to draw walks and a lack of power will continue to inhibit LeMahieu’s fantasy appeal, but in deeper leagues, his above-average contributions in two categories are enough to warrant attention at the middle-infield spot. In recognition of his strong 2013 showing, LeMahieu should be the frontrunner for the Opening Day second base job, but even if he loses out to Rutledge once again, he should see ample usage in a utility role.
LeMahieu redeemed himself following an uninspiring first callup to the Rockies in May, batting .316 after the All-Star break while becoming a defensive standout at second base, making just two errors in 311 chances. Those numbers were nice, but because LeMahieu lacks even low-end power or speed, he was a virtual non-entity in fantasy despite playing regularly in the second half. LeMahieu's mediocre on-base skills will make it difficult to sustain last season's lofty batting average, which would strip him of nearly all his value. If that does not happen, the move of Josh Rutledge to second base almost surely will, as LeMahieu projects this season as little more than a utility infielder, likely replacing Jordan Pacheco on defense in the later innings.
With little power to speak of and poor on-base skills, it's hard to see a lot of upside for LeMahieu even in Coors Field after he was traded to Colorado in the Tyler Colvin deal. LeMahieu does make good contact, so he's a fair bet to hit for average, but he doesn't run much, and the lack of walks limits his capacity to score runs. He could be in the running the second-base job this spring, but you're better off gambling on Chris Nelson or Eric Young, Jr.
More Fantasy News
Doesn't receive qualifying offer
2BFree Agent
November 2, 2018
LeMahieu did not receive a $17.9 million qualifying offer from the Indians before Friday's deadline, Nick Groke of The Athletic reports.
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Three-hit game with two RBI
2BColorado Rockies
September 26, 2018
LeMahieu went 3-for-5 with two runs and two RBI in Tuesday's win over the Phillies.
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Blasts walkoff homer
2BColorado Rockies
September 12, 2018
LeMahieu went 3-for-5 with a two-run home run, two runs scored and a strikeout in Wednesday's win over the Diamondbacks.
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Records three hits in win
2BColorado Rockies
September 11, 2018
LeMahieu went 3-for-4 with a run and two RBI in Monday's win over the Diamondbacks.
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Cranks solo home run
2BColorado Rockies
September 1, 2018
LeMahieu went 1-for-5 with a solo home run against the Padres on Saturday.
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