Colorado Rockies: Trade DJ LeMahieu to the Los Angeles Angels?

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 04: D.J. LeMahieu #9 of the Colorado Rockies hits a RBI single in the eighth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Coors Field on August 4, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - AUGUST 04: D.J. LeMahieu #9 of the Colorado Rockies hits a RBI single in the eighth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Coors Field on August 4, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /
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DJ LeMahieu of the Colorado Rockies
DENVER, CO – AUGUST 19: DJ LeMahieu #9 of the Colorado Rockies makes an acrobatic defensive play for an out in the fifth inning of a game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Coors Field on August 19, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /

As Sam Henken reported this week, the Los Angeles Angels are in the market for a second baseman. As we have begun hearing around the league, the Angels are widening their search to include everyone from Cesar Hernandez, to Ian Kinsler of the Detroit Tigers, to Dee Gordon of the Miami Marlins. Their search could also include veteran free agents Neil Walker, and Zack Mozart. One name we have not heard yet being discussed, however, is DJ LeMahieu of the Colorado Rockies.

In the second part of my six-part series, I will be exploring all the reasons Colorado and the Los Angeles Angels should sit down and discuss a trade both teams could benefit from.

Read the first part of this series (Charlie Blackmon to the St. Louis Cardinals?) by clicking here. It will open in a separate tab.

Before we start discussing the pieces and players involved, let us first talk about the reasons why this trade would be conceivable for Colorado to consider.

DJ LeMahieu was originally drafted by the Detroit Tigers right out of Brother Rice High School (Bloomfield Township, MI) in the 41st round in 2007. Instead of signing with Detroit, LeMahieu instead chose to attend LSU for two years. At LSU, he was honored with the 2008 Louisiana Freshman of the Year Award, and followed that performance with a 2009 First Team All-Louisiana selection. He would play so well in the 2009 College World Series, he would be named to the College World Series All-Tournament Team. His college resume was so good that LeMahieu would be drafted in the 2nd round of the June Amateur Draft in 2009 by the Chicago Cubs. He would sign with the ball club on July 19, 2009.

Once signed, LeMahieu would rise very rapidly through the Cubs system, slashing .321/.361/.409 lifetime in the minor leagues. His ability to produce large quantities of hits, with a disciplined bat and slick fielding glove allowed for him to make his major league debut on May 30, 2011 with the Chicago Cubs after only 325 minor league games.

Colorado Rockies
Colorado Rockies /

Colorado Rockies

In his initial taste of the Major Leagues, LeMahieu would go onto play 37 games, and record 62 plate appearances (60 at bats), slashing .250/.262/.283. The biggest concerns included the 12:1 strikeout ratio LeMahieu showed in his initial experiment at the big league level. While he showed some versatility defensively (playing 15 games at second base, 11 games at third base, and one game at shortstop), LeMahieu was unimpressive showing four errors in only 68 chances (.941 fielding percentage) as a middle infielder, without the necessary range of a true impact glove.

Without displaying the power, the glove, or the steady consistency he had displayed in the minor leagues, LeMahieu became expendable in the offseason. He would be traded along with outfielder Tyler Colvin to the Colorado Rockies for third baseman Ian Stewart and right-handed pitching prospect Casey Weathers on December 8, 2011.

What scouts did not see then, they have surely witnessed firsthand ever since.

Since arriving in Colorado, LeMahieu has produced a career slashline of .303/.357/.404 with 864 hits, 408 runs scored, 128 doubles, 29 triples, 34 home runs, 283 runs batted in, 69 stolen bases, 240 walks, and 483 strikeouts. He has one a batting title, been named to two All-Star teams (2015 and 2017) and won two Gold Gloves (2014 and 2017). In 2016, LeMahieu finished 15th in MVP voting after winning the batting title with a .348 batting average.

Looking at the numbers, the question that should be answered in Colorado is why? Why would Colorado have an interest in dealing a two-time All-Star-voted, Gold Glove-winning, batting title champion second baseman on the south side of 29?

The answer: Supply and demand.