The next installment of our evaluation of Tampa Bay Rays position players relative to the rest of the American League East in 2020. Today we focus on second base.
The Tampa Bay Rays are in a great spot at second base with Brandon Lowe making the All-Star team in his rookie campaign. On the farm, the Rays boast top prospects like Vidal Brujan and Xavier Edwards.
Not every team in the AL East has had such recent prosperity at second base. So, come along as we preview the keystone for each team in the AL East in 2020. On Deck: New York Yankees
Other AL East 2B Team Previews:
New York Yankees
New York Yankees Fangraphs 2020 Projected WAR: 3.3
The New York Yankees had high hopes when they brought in DJ LeMahieu last offseason.
He came to the Yankees as a proven hitter with a career average of .298. Along with his stellar hitting prowess he brought along two All-Star appearances, three Gold Gloves, and a top-15 finish in the NL MVP voting in 2016.
LeMahieu came in as a potential utility infielder and he was used as such. DJ played second base for the Rockies between 2012-2018. Last season he spent 40 games at first, 52 at third, and 75 at second for the Yankees.
With DiDi Gregorious gone, the Yankees should be able to use LeMahieu at his natural position of second base and pencil Gleyber Torres in at shortstop.
LeMahieu put together his best season with a bat last year. He won his first Silver Slugger Award, made his third All-Star appearance, and finished fourth in MVP voting. DJ slashed .327/.375/.518 with 33 doubles, 109 runs, 26 homers, 102 RBI, and 197 total hits.
He owns a career 56 defensive runs saved, adding six more last season. On top of his spectacular regular season, LeMahieu hit .325 in the postseason with three doubles, three homers, and seven RBI.
LeMahieu is entering the final year of his two-year, $24 million pact with the Bronx Bombers. The Yankees have to be thrilled for the value they received from their star second baseman. Through a record 30 IL stints for the team last season, LeMahieu played a huge role in providing stability, leadership, and production.