Perhaps all it took was Liam Hendricks finally opening the vault to offseason spending to get things moving but perennial Hot Stove stars the New York Yankees got in on the fun Friday by bringing back star second baseman DJ LeMahieu on a six-year deal worth $90 million. Arguably the best pure hitter in baseball the last two seasons, LeMahieu has really exploded during that span with the Yankees after a solid but unspectacular beginning of his career with the Colorado Rockies. Despite all of the advantages that playing in Coors Field brought forth, LeMahieu's career 92 OPS+ was below average. With the Yankees the last two years that numbers has jumped sharply to a splendid 145+ as LeMahieu has batted .327 and .364 during that span. Add in 36 total home runs in basically a little less than a season and half due to COVID-19 and LeMahieu at the age of 32 remains as good as ever. So in terms of 2021 fantasy baseball, LeMahieu is as good a place to start in terms of shoring up your batting average numbers. He is as close to a lock as you can get for someone to bat at least .315 and that number will likely be higher. What's crazy too is that the power really jumped up after LeMahieu departed Coors Field which is not something you ever see but Yankee Stadium is obviously no slouch in term of being a home run park. So while we remain wary of the 26 homers from 2019 possibly being an outlier, predicting 20 is very safe to go with 100-plus in both runs and RBI. Add it all together and you get everything at a very high level from LeMahieu outside of steals and that is well worth a late second or early third round pick this spring.
2021 PROJECTION: .323 23 HR 104 RBI 109 R 4 SB