Leading the MLB in batting average is an incredible milestone in any context. Leading the MLB in batting average when most average baseball fans have never even heard of you is a feat unlike any other. Boasting a .348 batting average, DJ LeMahieu quietly had an outstanding year. The Rockies second baseman is virtually unrecognizable to fans outside of the Colorado fandom. Despite posting the highest batting average the NL has seen since Chipper Jones batted .364(!) in 2008, LeMahieu is still not a household name. With much of the media’s focus falling on Daniel Murphy for putting up career numbers in his first season with the Washinton Nationals, LeMahieu flew under the radar for most of the year. Let’s take a look at the year LeMahieu had and attempt to give him the recognition a batting champion deserves.
Since debuting with the Chicago Cubs in 2011, DJ LeMahieu has been an average MLB second baseman. The LSU alum is currently in his fifth year with the Rockies. In 2015 he batted a career-high .301 last year and made his first All-Star game. All signs began to point towards DJ becoming an elite player, and this year he began to show it while slashing .348/.416/495 with 51 XBH and 66 RBI. Out of the two hole, LeMahieu was productive throughout the season. It seems as if major media would glorify him as the next big thing, but that hasn’t been the case. Despite owning a .337 average at the All-Star break, DJ wasn’t named to the NL team. Instead, Ben Zobrist and Daniel Murphy commanded the second baseman spot. LeMahieu amassed 192 hits and 66 walks with only 80 Ks. In today’s game those numbers are reserved for only elite hitters and that is exactly was LeMahieu has become. A career year for the young star should have him on radars across the league.
The Rockies Twitter page can’t be the only ones who are excited about the year DJ LeMahieu had. A batting champion deserves some higher praise for his fantastic season. Although the past few years have been rough sailing for the Rockies, the future looks bright with LeMahieu, Arenado, Story and CarGo leading the way. Make sure to look out for DJ LeMahieu as he builds upon his great 2016, and attempts to cement his status as an elite hitter during the 2017 campaign.