The New York Yankees are known, historically, for having the best hitters in the league.
Quietly, infielder DJ LeMahieu has been among the best pure hitters in MLB for years now.
To prove that, he just reached a respectable milestone: 1,500 hits in his career.
“LeMahieu with a milestone: 1,500 career hits,” the Yankees’ official Twitter account wrote.
LeMahieu with a milestone.
1,500 career hits 💪 pic.twitter.com/jM66WGs7Vy
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) June 8, 2022
While many major leaguers can say they had 1,500 hits or more in the league, the percentage of players who reach the mark is tiny: you have to be very good for a long time to be a part of a team’s lineup for more than 10 years in order to have a chance.
LeMahieu is a solid defender, yes, but everybody knows that most of his value comes from his bat.
He has never hit more than 30 home runs, and has surpassed 25 just once; but power isn’t really his game.
An Incredibly Consistent Hitter
As his .299/.356/.421 career line suggests, his strongest suit is his hit tool.
LeMahieu has a short, compact swing geared to hit the ball to the middle, and he is adept at using right field as a right-handed hitter.
He has very few flaws as a hitter and has been generally productive.
Upon arriving in New York to play for the Yankees in 2019, he had a stellar season that resulted in a .327/.375/.518 line with 26 homers.
He proceeded to win the American League batting title in 2020, with a .364 average.
He had a down 2021 (.711 OPS), but is eager to show there is still some thump left in his bat.
There are several seasons left on his deal (four after 2022), so he will have more than enough time to try and reach 2,000 career hits.