LeMahieu turns a double play against his former team last season. Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Evaluating the Talent: DJ LeMahieu


I have to admit, DJ LeMahieu was not my favorite guy when he first came on board the Rockies. For one thing, how would I ever remember the spelling of that name? Although I did eventually learn. For another thing, he joined the Rockies in the Ian Stewart trade, and I am one of those who was never able to give up on Stew completely. But, it’s time to face facts. Stew had completely lost his mojo as a Rockie and was well past the point of making any kind of meaningful contribution. For the Cubs last season, he played 55 games and hit .201. Also, he’s injured again. In the meantime, LeMahieu and his compadre in the trade, Tyler Colvin, combined for a .294 average, 2o homers, and 94 RBI. It turns out two really is better than one.

One thing I especially like about LeMahieu is his defense. He’s a quality second baseman with nice hustle and excellent accuracy. He made only 2 errors in 322 chances last season, and the only guys on the team with a better fielding percentage played in fewer games. LeMahieu was a definite improvement over the man who was supposed to fill our second base gap, Marco Scutaro. Only Charlie Blackmon, who I seriously love but who didn’t play very much last year, had a better UZR than LeMahieu. Turns out, DJLM was the solution we didn’t know we needed at second base.

That said, he didn’t see enough playing time there for my taste, and my guess is he won’t in 2013 either. Maybe he’ll bond with Walt Weiss in Scottsdale and get lucky, but I don’t see him as the front runner for that position. Who is? Well, no one. It’s likely to be some combination of LeMahieu, Jonathan Herrera, Josh Rutledge, and maybe a wild card like Reid Brignac. But I’d love to see LeMahieu get the call and have the chance to prove himself. In the Cubs’ farm system, LeMahieu scouted as a strong second baseman and an aggressive hitter. Can the Rockies give him a chance to be those things on a consistent basis in 2013? I think if they do, they’ll be glad.

 

Where will LeMahieu be in 2013? Playing 2nd base by committee and otherwise riding the bench.

Where should LeMahieu be in 2013? Starting at 2nd.

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