INF DJ LeMahieu
DJ LeMahieu is one of the most prized free agents available this offseason. He’s played for the New York Yankees over the past two seasons and finished third in AL MVP voting this season.
Despite playing most of his career in Colorado, LeMahieu didn’t find his power stroke until arriving in the Bronx. In 2019 he hit 26 home runs while posted an impressive batting average of .326. In a shortened 2020 season, he slugged 10 home runs and hit .364.
From 2012 to 2018, with the Rockies, he averaged 6.7 home runs per season. At that time, he was primarily a table setter for the Rockies offense and as a result scored a bunch of runs. His highest single season batting average in a full season was .348 during the 2016 season.
Throughout his ten year career, LeMahieu owns two batting titles and has a career .305 average. In addition to the batting titles, he has made three all-star appearances, won three gold gloves, and has been a silver slugger twice.
The fact that his power numbers have increased over the past two seasons is an added bonus to an already phenomenal hitter. Throughout his career, he has been a great contact hitter with a low 13.9% strikeout rate and is almost always near the top of the league in average exit velocity and hard hit percentage.
As a defender, LeMahieu primarily plays second base, but he has spent a substantial amount of time at third base as well. He would clearly fit a need for the Milwaukee Brewers and he alone could help turn this offense around in 2021.
Unfortunately LeMahieu will come at a great cost. It seems unlikely that he would sign a one year deal with any ball club and likely will command an average annual value of at least $15MM per season.
In that case, the Brewers may have to go a different route in the infield.