Yankees' Luke Voit eyes consistency in 2021 after career-best season

Garrett Stepien
·3 min read
Luke Voit laughs at spring training
Luke Voit laughs at spring training

Despite a career-best campaign in the shortened 2020 season, headlined by a crowning achievement as the MLB home run leader, Yankees 1B Luke Voit is not satisfied. Wednesday at spring training in Tampa, Fla., he explained why.

"Kind of just going off what I did last year -- there's a lot of things I did well," Voit said. "Obviously, a lot of things I need to improve on, too. But I felt really comfortable at the plate last year and I kind of fell off a little bit towards the end of the playoffs, and I need to kind of steady that heartbeat.

"I think I took too many ups and downs last year, and I need to be more consistent. I had a couple good times and a couple bad ruts, so it's limit those 1-for-15 series -- if that makes sense -- and, like I said, walk more where those 1-for-15s turn into maybe 2 for 10 or something like that because I'm on base five more times. Just try to be a better overall teammate, too, and get after it and win -- win, win, win, baby, win."

Voit, who slashed .277/.338/.610 with 22 home runs and 52 RBI in 56 regular-season games while battling a foot injury down the stretch, pointed to his defense. Manager Aaron Boone cut him some slack, but he was also honest.

"Just continuing to get a little bit better at his game, and defensively is part of that," Boone said. "I feel like, even from '19 to last year, defensively, I felt like he made a lot of strides.

"Now, where he got hurt up a little bit last year was the foot issue that he was dealing with where it didn't really affect him, obviously, at the plate. It probably did cut in on him in the field a little bit and just his ability to move laterally, move as efficiently as he should. So, hopefully, health and just being in a better place physically heading into the season, you'll see a natural uptick on the defensive side in just his agility and his ability to move."

The 30-year-old Voit enters his third full season as a member of the Yankees and figures to be a factor in a lineup that could make or break the team's postseason chances. Regardless of how the Yankees' righty-heavy batting order shakes out, Voit boasts a confident outlook.

"I always kind of get frustrated when everyone's saying we need a lefty bat in the lineup and everything," Voit said. "I like hitting righties just as much as I like hitting lefties, and I think a lot of guys on the team do. Obviously, this game's a whole matchup-based game now. But it doesn't matter to me. ... It doesn't really matter who's pitching. I don't care.

"It's still Aaron Judge. It's still Giancarlo (Stanton). It's still Gleyber Torres. It's still Gary Sanchez. You've got to figure out a way to get us out, whether we're lefty or righty. So good luck."