New York Yankees second baseman DJ LeMahieu was named a finalist for the American League Most Valuable Player award on Monday.
On Monday, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America announced that LeMahieu was a finalist for the AL MVP award.
2020 AL MVP finalists
Jose Abreu, White Sox
DJ LeMahieu, Yankees
Jose Ramirez, Indians
Winner announced Nov. 12, 6 p.m. ET on @mlbnetwork
— BBWAA (@officialBBWAA) November 3, 2020
LeMahieu led the American League in batting average at .364, on-base percentage at .421, and OPS at 1.011. He was in the top 1% of the league in K% and wOBA and top 3% of the league in xBA.
Unfortunately for LeMahieu, an injury forced him to miss a portion of the season. Any other year, that brief stint on the injured list is written off. But with a 60-game season, those 10 games really hurt. He also only hit 10 home runs, which is far below his competition, Jose Ramirez and Jose Abreu, who hit 17 and 19 home runs, respectively.
Of course, even if LeMahieu doesn’t win the award, the nomination alone will benefit him in free agency. He’s lined up for a big-time contract after having the two best years of his career with the Yankees. And despite the fact that teams are not expected to break open the piggy banks this winter, there will be plenty of bidders for LeMahieu’s services.
And no matter what the cost, the Yankees need to bring LeMahieu back long term. He proved to be exactly what the team was missing following the 2018 season. He provides a dynamic, contact-minded presence at the plate and defensive versatility. All wrapped up in a no-nonsense “I’m just here to win ball games” mentality.
This MVP finalist nod is an acknowledgment of what Yankee fans have known since the minute LeMahieu showed up. This guy is special. And we want him around for the long haul.