New York Yankees’ Luke Voit looking to stay healthy and improve defensively

FORT MYERS, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 29: Luke Voit #59 of the New York Yankees in action against the Boston Red Sox of a Grapefruit League spring training game at JetBlue Park at Fenway South on February 29, 2020 in Fort Myers, Florida.

Following his injury-riddled 2019 campaign, New York Yankees first baseman Luke Voit is looking to take a step forward in 2020.

After his impressive performance in 2018, the New York Yankees were expecting Luke Voit to take full command of the first base position last season. Nevertheless, a pair of injuries prevented him from taking that leap.

With the 2020 regular season now around the corner, the ballclub is once again looking for the veteran to do big things. There are numerous steps he’ll have to take to live up to those expectations though, and ultimately, it starts with remaining healthy.

“I’m finally healed up, I feel strong, more functional, more athletic and quicker,” Voit explains. “It’s just crazy how quick the turnaround is for that surgery. I’m super glad I got it and I’m finally healthy again.”

After opting to avoid surgery in 2019, Voit went under the knife this past offseason to repair the core injury that was plaguing him all season long.

The 29-year-old additionally revealed his setback was much more severe than it was when he first learned of the diagnosis. By playing through the injury, he tore six ligaments by the end of the American League Championship Series.

Along with his desire to stay healthy, Voit admits that he wants to “lock down” the first base spot this spring and prove he can be a reliable asset defensively.

“It feels good that I got that surgery, I feel like I’m getting to balls more to my left and right than I was before,” Voit detailed. “Defense is the biggest thing for me and just keep hitting for power. But defense is the main part because I want to lock down first base and prove that I’m not just a hitter or DH, that I could play first base too.”

Last season, Voit tied for the second-worst OAA (-6) and recorded the worst DRS (-12) score among all major-league first basemen (minimum 700 innings).

Based on these results, the Yankees slugger will have a lot of work to do in order to improve his overall defense moving forward. But staying healthy throughout this year will certainly assist in him accomplishing that feat.

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