DJ LeMahieu

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DJ LeMahieu
DJ LeMahieu in handshake line after Yankees victory over Orioles 4-4-19.jpg
LeMahieu with the New York Yankees in 2019
New York Yankees – No. 26
Second baseman
Born: (1988-07-13) July 13, 1988 (age 31)
Visalia, California
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
May 30, 2011, for the Chicago Cubs
MLB statistics
(through August 18, 2019)
Batting average.303
Home runs70
Runs batted in435
Stolen bases79
Career highlights and awards

David John LeMahieu (/ləˈmhj/; born July 13, 1988) is an American professional baseball second baseman for the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the Chicago Cubs and Colorado Rockies.

The Cubs selected LeMahieu in the second round of the 2009 MLB draft, and he made his MLB debut for the Cubs in 2011 before being traded to the Rockies before the 2012 season. With Colorado, LeMahieu won Gold Glove Awards in 2014, 2017, and 2018, was named an All-Star in 2015 and 2017, and won the National League batting title in 2016. After becoming a free agent following the 2018 season, he signed a two-year contract with with the Yankees, where he has played as a third baseman, second baseman, and occasionally as a first baseman.[1][2] His versatility on defense and hitting ability earned him the nickname "LeMachine" by Gary Sánchez.[3] With the Yankees, he was named a starter on the 2019 All-Star team.

Early life and career[edit]

LeMahieu was born in Visalia, California.[4] His family moved to Michigan, and he attended Brother Rice High School in Bloomfield Township, Oakland County, Michigan.[5] He played as a shortstop and pitcher for the school's baseball team. In his senior year, as a leadoff hitter, he batted .574 with eight home runs, 16 doubles, seven triples, 70 runs scored, 32 runs batted in (RBIs), and 39 stolen bases. He recorded two strikeouts in 92 at bats. His career average in high school was .459 with 201 hits. As a junior, he was an Aflac All-American. He was also a two-time Gatorade player of the year and Louisville Slugger Player of the Year for the State of Michigan.[6]

After his senior year at Brother Rice, he was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the 2007 MLB draft in the 41st round. He did not sign with the Tigers so that he could attend college.[6]

College career[edit]

LeMahieu in 2008 during his college baseball career at Louisiana State University

LeMahieu enrolled at Louisiana State University (LSU) to play college baseball for the LSU Tigers. As a freshman at LSU, for the 2008 season, he started in 67 of 68 games, hit .337 overall, and helped LSU reach the NCAA post-season play for the first time since 2005. In the post-season, he was selected to the All-Tournament team for the Baton Rouge regional after hitting .300 and scoring 7 runs.

In between his only two college baseball seasons, LeMahieu was part of the 2008 Harwich Mariners team in the Cape Cod League, he earned the team's regular-season MVP award[7] and was named the No. 6 prospect in the Cape Cod League by Baseball America magazine. The Mariners would go on to win the League Championship Series for the first time in 21 years.[8]

During his sophomore campaign, LeMahieu was selected as a pre-season All American by Collegiate Baseball. LeMahieu would open the 2009 season with a 9-game hitting streak adding to his previous 16-game consecutive streak from the end of the 2008 campaign, to total hitting safely in 25 consecutive games.[citation needed][citation needed] LeMahieu started 72 of LSU's 73 games, during which Tigers coach Paul Mainieri transitioned LeMahieu from a shortstop into a second baseman. This changed allowed for Austin Nola to start at shortstop further bolstering the team's defense.[9]. LeMahieu finished the seasond leading the team in batting average .350 and total hits with 96 for the 2009 season. On the way to LSU's 6th National Championship, he would be selected to the 2009 College World Series All-Tournament team, hitting .444 in the series and leading all players with 12 hits.[10]

Professional career[edit]

Chicago Cubs[edit]

The Chicago Cubs of Major League Baseball (MLB) selected LeMahieu in the second round of the 2009 MLB draft with the 79th overall selection.[11] He played for the Peoria Chiefs of the Class A Midwest League in 2009 after the draft. In 38 games, he hit .316 with 30 RBIs. He spent the 2010 season with the Daytona Cubs of the Class A-Advanced Florida State League, batting .314 with 73 RBIs and 15 stolen bases in 135 games, going on to earn a FSL Post-Season All-Star selection.[12]

LeMahieu began the 2011 season with the Tennessee Smokies of the Class AA Southern League. On May 30, the Cubs promoted LeMahieu to the major leagues when Jeff Baker was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left groin strain.[13] That day, LeMahieu made his major league debut pinch-hitting for the pitcher John Grabow, grounding into a double play. He did not stay in the game, a 12–7 loss to the Houston Astros.[citation needed] The Cubs demoted LeMahieu to the Iowa Cubs of the Class AAA Pacific Coast League in June. He returned to the major leagues in September[14] and would be honored as an Organization All-Star for the 2011 season.[15]

Colorado Rockies[edit]

On December 8, 2011, the Cubs traded LeMahieu and Tyler Colvin to the Colorado Rockies for Casey Weathers and Ian Stewart.[16]

LeMahieu with the Rockies in 2013

On May 23, 2012 LeMahieu was called up to the major leagues to replace injured Jonathan Herrera as a utility infielder. On August 14, he recorded a career-best four hits in a 9–6 Rockies win over the Milwaukee Brewers and in his first game against his former team, the Chicago Cubs, LeMahieu registered three hits in four at bats. Later in August, LeMahieu wrote his name into the record books, as he recorded 12 assists in a 9-inning victory against the Los Angeles Dodgers on the 28th.[17] This mark tied a record held by several players.

In 2014, LeMahieu batted .267/.315/.348 with five home runs in 494 at bats. Defensively, he had an ultimate zone rating of 11.0, which was first in the National League (NL) and third in the majors. He won his first Gold Glove[18] with 16 Defensive Runs Saved[19] and led the majors with 99 double plays.[18]

LeMahieu was the starting second baseman for the NL in the 2015 All-Star Game; this was LeMahieu's first All-Star selection. For the season, he batted .301 and led the majors in percentage of balls hit to the opposite field (39.0%), while seeing the highest percentage of fastballs of all MLB hitters (66.9%).[20][21]

In 2016, LeMahieu won the NL batting title after batting .439 in August and .363 in September.[22] His .348 season average led all of MLB. For the season, he had the highest batting average on balls in play (.388) of all major league players, and again led the majors in percentage of balls hit to the opposite field (37.9%).[23][24]

LeMahieu was selected to the 2017 MLB All-Star Game as an injury replacement for Dee Gordon.[25] He batted .310 and for the third consecutive year led the majors in percentage of balls hit to the opposite field (38.3%), while seeing the highest percentage of fastballs of all MLB hitters (67.0%).[26][27] Also again in 2017, LeMahieu collected the NL Gold Glove for second basemen.[28] Additionally, he won the Fielding Bible Award for all major league second basemen.[29]

In the 2018 season, LeMahieu hit a career-high 15 home runs while batting .276/.321/.428. He was tied for seeing the highest percentage of fastballs of all MLB hitters (63.6%).[30][31] In addition to an increase in power numbers, his defensive excellence continued. LeMahieu finished the 2018 season with a 19.5 SDI (SABR Defensive Index) highest of all NL players, and his 2.2 defensive WAR was eighth best among all of MLB. The .993 fielding percentage, .859 zone rating and 18 defensive runs saved were best for all NL second basemen. He earned both a third Gold Glove and a third Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award.[32]

New York Yankees[edit]

On January 14, 2019, LeMahieu signed a two-year, $24 million deal with the New York Yankees.[33]

After finishing the first London Series in MLB's history (which was actually the halfway mark of the Yankees season), he left the two-game series with a 7–12 AB mark, 3 2Bs & 7 RBIs. This performance helped the Yankees complete the sweep of the Red Sox in London.[34][35] Due to injuries in the team, he has spent time at first, second and third base. [2][1]

Batting profile[edit]

LeMahieu during the 2019 All-Star Red Carpet Parade in Cleveland, OH

Despite scouting reports suggesting his potential as a pure power hitter, LeMahieu became powerful opposite field contact hitter, despite being 6'4", 215 lbs. His tendency to not leg kick, and hit for contact with low launch angle (average of under 10 degrees) was compensated by his high exit velocity (91.7 mph average as of August 8, 2019), meaning he can still hit for extra bases while not getting long fly outs.[36]

Personal life[edit]

LeMahieu and his wife, Jordan, were married in 2014.[37]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Davidoff, Ken (July 9, 2019). "DJ LeMahieu's former Rockies teammates knew he'd be a Yankees star". New York Post. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  2. ^ a b The Rockies’ decisions that led DJ LeMahieu, Adam Ottavino to the Yankees
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu's consistency is his strength – The Denver Post". Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  5. ^ Jonathan LeBlanc, Special to the Free Press. "How D.J. LeMahieu went from Brother Rice to MLB All-Star". Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Brother Rice's LeMahieu proves critics wrong, wins Gold Glove | USA TODAY High School Sports". November 5, 2014. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ "After eight years in the majors and a Gold Glove, DJ LeMahieu has embraced Paul Mainieri's decision to move him to second base | LSU". June 10, 2017. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  10. ^ "Former LSU infielder DJ LeMahieu signs with Chicago Cubs". Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  11. ^ "Mitchell, LeMahieu Taken in First Rounds of MLB Draft". Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  12. ^ "DJ LeMahieu Minor & Fall Leagues Statistics & History -". Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  13. ^ Kline, Adam (May 30, 2011). "DJ LeMahieu promoted to Chicago Monday - News - The Official Site of Minor League Baseball". Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  14. ^ "Colvin, LeMahieu Traded to Colorado - News - The Official Site of Minor League Baseball". December 9, 2011. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  15. ^ Emrich, Robert (October 12, 2011). "Jackson, LaHair power Cubs system". Retrieved July 17, 2019.
  16. ^ Kepner, Tyler (February 25, 2017). "With Each Hit, Rockies' D.J. LeMahieu Shows Cubs' Epstein What He Gave Up On". Retrieved February 27, 2017 – via
  17. ^ "LeMahieu ties single-game assists mark at second – Dominican Prospect League". August 29, 2012. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  18. ^ a b Saunders, Patrick (November 4, 2014). "Rockies DJ LeMahieu, Nolan Arenado win Gold Gloves". The Denver Post. Retrieved June 16, 2014.
  19. ^ Milnes, Jay (February 11, 2015). "State of the position: Second base is DJ LeMahieu's spot to lose in 2015". SB Nation. Retrieved June 16, 2015.
  20. ^ Major League Leaderboards » 2015 » Batters » Pitch Type Statistics | FanGraphs Baseball
  21. ^ "Major League Leaderboards » 2015 » Batters » Batted Ball Statistics | FanGraphs Baseball". Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  22. ^ "DJ LeMahieu » Splits » 2016 » Batting - FanGraphs Baseball".
  23. ^ "Major League Leaderboards » 2016 » Batters » Batted Ball Statistics | FanGraphs Baseball". Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  24. ^ "Major League Leaderboards » 2016 » Batters » Advanced Statistics | FanGraphs Baseball". Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  25. ^ Ringolsby, Tracy (May 24, 2018). "Rockies DJ LeMahieu gets call in All Star Game". Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  26. ^ Major League Leaderboards » 2017 » Batters » Pitch Type Statistics | FanGraphs Baseball
  27. ^ "Major League Leaderboards » 2017 » Batters » Batted Ball Statistics | FanGraphs Baseball". Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  28. ^ Saunders, Patrick (November 7, 2017). "Rockies' Nolan Arenado wins 5th Gold Glove; DJ LeMahieu snares his second". Denver Post. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
  29. ^ Harding, Thomas (October 30, 2017). "Arenado, LeMahieu win Fielding Bible Awards". Retrieved November 23, 2017.
  30. ^ Major League Leaderboards » 2018 » Batters » Pitch Type Statistics | FanGraphs Baseball
  31. ^ "DJ LeMahieu Stats". Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  32. ^ Thornburg, Chad (May 24, 2018). "2018 defensive player of year awards announced". Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  33. ^ Hoch, Bryan (May 24, 2018). "Yankees add infielder DJ LeMahieu | New York Yankees". Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  34. ^ "Yankees rule Britannia, complete London sweep of Red Sox". Associated Press. June 30, 2019. Retrieved July 17, 2019.
  35. ^
  36. ^ Lemire, Joe. "Yankees MVP DJ LeMahieu Is the Hitting Rebel Turning His Back on MLB's HR Era". Bleacher Report. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  37. ^ The Rockies' DJ LeMahieu, Nolan Arenado, Carlos Gonzalez and Charlie Blackmon ready for possible last hurrah - Boulder Daily Camera

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