The New York Yankees have one of the best rosters in the American League. Whenever baseball resumes, they will be the favorites to win the AL East. However, even one of the best rosters in baseball could stand to have a midseason change.
Right now, the candidate that is in the most danger to lose a starting spot is first baseman Luke Voit, who might find his playing time reduced. Not all of this is Voit's fault — he would be locked in as a starting first baseman for many teams, but the quality of the Yankees' bench and his spike in strikeouts have raised some red flags.
Voit was acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals in 2018 for Chasen Shreve and Giovanny Gallegos. The trade was a total steal for the Yankees at the time, especially when Voit hit 15 homers in 47 games and posted a 1.069 OPS, but Gallegos has emerged as a rock-solid reliever while Voit has had some rough patches in his sophomore season.
Voit still walked at an elite level, but he only hit 21 homers in 118 games last year, a big drop considering the juiced ball and his pace from 2018. His .263 batting average was inflated by a .345 BABIP that will likely drop as Voit isn't particularly fast. In addition, his infield defense was considerably below average, but he did miss a month with an abdominal injury, which may have affected his power numbers.
Although Voit is a very useful hitter, usually with fantastic plate discipline, the Yankees have other players who will be in direct competition for the first base job. 2018 Rookie of the Year runner-up Miguel Andujar is back after missing all of 2019, and the emergence of Gio Urshela at third base means he could slide over to first. The Yankees also saw encouraging signs from lefty Mike Ford, who actually had a better OPS and wRC+ than Voit for the Yankees last year, albeit in a small sample size.
Barring injury, Voit will be the starting first baseman whenever Opening Day happens, but his starting spot is in question. With so many good players, the Yankees have a number of ways to get creative with their infield, especially with the prospect of expanded rosters as the league continues to try and work around the pandemic.
Get $5 FREE when you sign up for FanDuel Racing, plus we’ll match your first deposit in site credit up to $50!
Tristan Jung is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Tristan Jung also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username tristan1117. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.