The Yankees’ 2019 season came to an end just a few weeks ago, but it’s already time to look to what improvements can be made in 2020. Pitching depth is a popular ask by fans, and reanalyzing the offense to make sure the Bombers perform better in the postseason has been circulating as well. Jordan Montgomery, Deivi Garcia, and Michael King, could be beneficial next season but they don’t offer as much confidence as the proven aces available on the market. In contrast, because there is a lack of offense available through free agency, the Yankees could see that as an area to work from within the organization.
Some options that didn’t make the postseason roster are Luke Voit, Miguel Andujar, Clint Frazier, and Mike Ford. With the possibility of Didi Gregorius joining a team in need of a shortstop, and Aaron Hicks missing most of the season to Tommy John surgery, there is room for some of these players to once again showcase their abilities on the diamond. However, Luke Voit stands out because he has been able to prove his offensive abilities between two different seasons and each time the production has been remarkable.
To help put things into perspective, let’s compare Luke Voit to his colleagues in the Bronx. During 2019 only two Bombers were able to produce a wRC+ over 135. Those players were DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Judge, the one-two punch at the top of the lineup who were the best hitters of the Yankees season. Before Voit joined the injured list, he was on pace to be right there with Judge and LeMahieu with a 140 wRC+ over 349 plate appearances.
The early season production wasn’t only impressive because Voit was carrying the Yankees with LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres, and Brett Gardner early on, but because it proved his late 2018 showing wasn’t a fluke. Expecting Voit to produce a 195 wRC+ over a full season would be basically impossible and also make him a candidate for MVP. Combing his late 2018 with early 2019, Voit has made a case to be a top half of the order bat since he arrived to the organization.
Compared to the rest of the league, we start to have an even better understanding of how well Voit’s season was going. Considering all 137 players with more than 500 plate appearances, only 15 were able to generate a wRC+ of 140 or greater. If you account only for first basemen, only Pete Alonso and Anthony Rizzo were able to accomplish the feat.
Overall, there just aren’t a lot of the players with the potential to hit for such a high wRC+. Even though Voit ended the season with a wRC+ of 126, he proved he has the ability to become an elite hitter if he can stay healthy. It’s not a coincidence that his performance came to a complete halt in September after he suffered a sports hernia. The Yankees missed one of their best hitters during the postseason, and that could have made a difference in their success.
As fans analyze the Yankees’ lineup entering 2020, they cannot forget how productive Voit has been over the past two seasons because of a bad second half. He has the potential to match Aaron Judge on a stat sheet and be one of the top 20 hitters in MLB. He’s hasn't reached 1000 career plate appearances and just finished his first full season on the major league level, therefore we might have a better understanding of his ceiling next season but right now it’s considerably high. Of course it would be great for the Yankees to add Anthony Rendon into the mix, but it shouldn’t take away from the internal options the Yankees have available, especially Voit.