As far as a hitter in the number eight spot in the lineup who plays elite defense, DJ LeMahieu has been everything the Colorado Rockies could have hoped he could be this season.
Sure, the tall and lanky second baseman does not hit for much power, but his offense has been steady down at the bottom of the lineup: .272/.335/.336 entering Monday’s action. Considering the fact that any offense from the second base position is a bonus to begin with, LeMahieu has done just fine. A slight bump in that on-base percentage and he might be downright effective as an offensive player.
The thing that makes LeMahieu’s offensive play even more enjoyable is the fact that he continues to field the keystone at a high level. Entering Monday he was good for 8 DRS (defensive runs saved, according to FanGraphs). He makes the routine plays and a few outstanding plays thanks to his ranginess.
One such outstanding play came on Monday night against the Washington Nationals, as LeMahieu leaped and stabbed a line drive off the bat of Anthony Rendon.
Who knows if the Rockies are poised to turn things around next season or not, but if they are, the quality of their double play combination with Troy Tulowitzki and LeMahieu will be part of the reason why. In a season full of disappointment, LeMahieu’s ability to take hold of the second base job has been a nice, albeit understated, story line.