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Why Luke Voit’s defense isn’t a big deal for the Yankees

Voit’s offensive production overshadows his shoddy defense.

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Luke Voit has quickly become a fan favorite in the Bronx. His energy and passion for the game draws fans towards him. With Greg Bird an afterthought on the injured list, Voit has established himself as the first baseman for the Yankees. And while his prodigious offensive production deserves to be the centerpiece of discussions, Voit has struggled with the glove. Last night’s game against the Blue Jays quickly comes to mind. But does that matter?

Out of the 19 qualified first basemen in the majors, Voit has the lowest DRS (-5) and sports a poor UZR/150 (-15.8). In terms of more traditional numbers, he has the worst fielding percentage (.988) and is in a tie for second-most errors (four),

The rest of the infield, however, carries the weight. Not only has DJ LeMahieu been one of the better Yankees hitters in 2019, but he can also flash the leather. He was a three-time Gold Glove winner and a three-time Wilson Defensive Player of the Year during his seven-year tenure with the Colorado Rockies. So far this season LeMahieu is tied for the highest fielding percentage in the league at second base (.994) and has a terrific UZR/150 of 10.2, all while obtaining a DRS score of four runs.

Gio Urshela, 2019 Yankees sensation, has been tremendous at the hot corner. He’s made unbelievable play after unbelievable play, and his bat has been outstanding. While his errors are up there and his UZR is pretty average, these do not define his play whatsoever. He’s provided way more than the Yankees expected out of him.

Gleyber Torres has been solid in the six-hole as he had to make the switch from second base to shortstop because of the injury to Didi Gregorius. He has an above-average DRS, and he has been a part of 25 double plays. Torres has also assisted both Gary Sanchez and Austin Romine catch runners stealing as he is well-known for his quick tags. Just like Urshela, his numbers aren’t eye-popping. But he’s fielded over 460 innings at short and has done enough to help the Yanks.

Speaking of Gregorius, he is scheduled to make his season debut against the Cleveland Indians over the weekend. Gregorius has been a staple for New York in the infield since 2015. He had just six errors last season paired with a 5.2 UZR/150 and a .987 fielding percentage over 1149.1 innings. While being on his rehab assignment in the minors, Gregorius has been stellar with his glove and hasn’t seemed to miss a beat. This should warm the hearts of Yankees fans.

With Voit’s 42 game on-base streak, his power stroke and his excellent OPS of .904, people forgive his poor defensive play. If the first baseman can improve with his glove, he’d have a much higher ceiling. Considering his position and the state of the Yankees’ infield defense, though, his bat is more important anyway.