How bad is DJ LeMahieu for the New York Yankees in 2021?

New York Yankees 2020’s silver slugger and utility man, DJ LeMahieu is having a year. After a career year in 2020 and subsequent six year $90M contract extension, DJ is struggling offensively in 2021 and fans are crying foul.

How bad is DJ at the plate through August 3, 2021? Let’s just say, too many at-bats end in a grimace for him and for fans! As far as the numbers go, there’s no comparison between last year and this year.

LeMahieu was an offensive juggernaut in ’20, posting a .364 batting average and winning the batting title. His OPS was an eye-popping 1.011. Yankees’ analytic guys were going nuts I’m sure, and he looked like the unstoppable machine he has been named for.

Fast-forward to 2021, and just a cursory look at his batting averages for the season: April .271, May .253, June .291, July .241 shows that he has not been able to put together a consistently solid season at the plate. Stat nerds can deep dive and probably find that all LeMahieu’s numbers this season are way below what Yankee fans expected.

Numbers aside, just watching him ground out at bat after at bat – or so it would seem – fans have become frustrated with him in the lead-off role. His on-base percentage in 2020 was .421 and is almost .100 points lower this year at .341. DJ’s lack of success getting on base has been disappointing for fans.

The only consolation, if it is any, is that the Yankee offense has been as inconsistent overall as DJ has been individually, with several players also having down years – Gleyber Torres, in particular.

He hasn’t hit a home run since June 26th, but then, no Yankee not named Anthony Rizzo has hit a home run since July 21st.

How bad is DJ? I’m one of the biggest fans of LeMachine, but that name seems much less apt in 2021. Fans have spent the season hoping with each game that LeMahieu would turn the corner and regain his form, but unless he’s planning a spectacular August and September, that scenario seems unlikely.

Expect more of the same, unfortunately, from LeMahieu.

Nasty Nestor on the base pads?

The 26 year old Nestor Cortes, Jr. is known for his wacky windups on the mound, but perhaps not so much for his base running moves.

He got a chance to show off these moves on Friday against the Marlins, when he pinch ran for Urshela. In true Cortes fashion, his style on the base pad was all his own, as he overran the base and just made it back before the tag.

So while Anthony Rizzo’s coming out party was a smashing success, and Joey Gallo’s was ok, it was Cortes who made me smile and reminded me that the game is supposed to be fun.

Even when he’s deceiving hitters with his unique windups, throwing them off their timing, they can’t help but laugh at the fun he’s having.