D.J. DAVID JOHN LeMAHIEU
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Nickname:   N/A Position:   2B
Home: Bloomfield Hills, MI Team:   ROCKIES
Height: 6' 4" Bats:   R
Weight: 210 Throws:   R
DOB: 7/13/1988 Agent: N/A
Uniform #: 9  
Birth City: Visalia, CA
Draft: Cubs #2 - 2009 - Out of LSU
YR LEA TEAM SAL(K) G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO OBP SLG AVG
2009 AZL AZL-Cubs   3 12 2 5 0 1 0 4 1 9 1 3 .429 .583 .417
2009 MWL PEORIA   38 152 19 48 4 2 0 30 2 2 12 22 .371 .368 .316
2010 FSL DAYTONA   135 554 63 174 24 5 2 73 15 7 29 61 .346 .386 .314
2011 PCL IOWA   58 227 23 64 7 1 3 23 5 5 14 27 .324 .361 .282
2011 SL TENNESSEE   50 187 32 67 15 2 2 27 4 3 11 22 .386 .492 .358
2011 NL CUBS   37 60 3 15 2 0 0 4 0 0 1 12 .262 .283 .250
2012 NL ROCKIES   81 229 26 68 12 4 2 22 1 2 13 42 .332 .410 .297
2012 PCL COLORADO SPRINGS   61 255 33 80 14 2 1 31 13 6 23 29 .368 .396 .314
2013 NL ROCKIES   109 404 39 113 21 3 2 28 18 7 19 67 .311 .361 .280
2013 PCL COLORADO SPRINGS   33 143 34 52 8 5 1 22 8 2 10 19 .405 .510 .364
2014 NL ROCKIES $501.00 149 494 59 132 15 5 5 42 10 10 33 97 .315 .348 .267
2015 NL ROCKIES $518.00 150 564 85 170 21 5 6 61 23 3 50 107 .358 .388 .301
2016 NL ROCKIES $3,000.00 146 552 104 192 32 8 11 66 11 7 66 80 .416 .495 .348
2017 NL ROCKIES $4,800.00 24 86 10 23 4 1 1 5 1 0 11 12 .357 .372 .267
Personal
  • LeMahieu is pronounced La-May-Hugh.
  • LeMahieu was born in Visalia, California, then moved to Las Vegas for one year when he was 7 years old. The family then lived in Madison, Wisconsin for five years, before moving to Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
  • D.J. credits his Dad with teaching him “how to play baseball the right way."
  • LeMahieu was born in Visalia, Calif., but his parents—Tom, a computer consultant, and Joan, a facility manager—often moved to pursue their careers. The family lived in California until he was 7, spent a year in Las Vegas, spent five years in Madison, Wis., and five key years in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. His Dad was his coach on youth teams, but when the LeMahieus moved to Michigan and D.J. attended Brother Rice High School in Bloomfield Hills, he began his ninth-grade year at the back of the line.

    "Our team went to the state finals the year before, and there were a lot of returning guys—shortstop was set, second base was set," LeMahieu said. "I came in and started at second. I was playing well. Actually, the guy at shortstop was a senior and his brother was our assistant coach. And the assistant coach says, 'Hey, you need to move my brother out of short and put D.J. there.' So the brother moved to second. For me, that was kind of a big moment. I was pretty intimidated at the start of that year, but I learned I could do it."

  • In 2007, LeMahieu's senior year at Brother Rice High School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, he committed to a baseball scholarship to Louisiana State University.

    And he did not sign with the Detroit Tigers, who chose him in the 41st round of the draft.

  • In his junior year in high school, D.J. was an Aflac All-American. He was also a two-time Gatorade player of the year and Louisville Slugger Player of the Year for the State of Michigan.
  • In the summer of 2008, D.J. was named the No. 6 prospect in the Cape Cod League by Baseball America magazine. He was the regular season MVP for the Harwich Mariners in the Cape Cod League, batting .290 (31-for-107) with five doubles, one homer, 13 RBI, and 16 runs in 28 games.

  • LeMahieu went to LSU. He says people think he's from Louisiana because of his French last name. In 2009, he helped the Tigers to the College World Series while hitting .350 for the Tigers.

    "It was the best moment of my life," D.J. said.

  • In his spare time, D.J. likes to go fishing.
  • In the winter before 2010 spring training, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated LeMahieu as the 10th-best prospect in the Cubs' organization. He was at #13 in both the spring of 2011 and again in 2012.
  • D.J. has a very good baseball mind. He just knows how to play the game and does everything you have to do to help you win. His mental toughness is very impressive. He is a throwback out of the mold of Mark Lemke and  David Eckstein.
  • LeMahieu doesn't stand out. Beyond the light purple college name and number, "LSU 17," stitched on his glove, his fashion is standard issue. Good luck finding a snazzy or controversial quote. He rarely posts on the @DJLeMahieu Twitter account. As for LeMahieu, he's just, you know, there.

    Well, LeMahieu is there all right—with uncanny regularity. Wherever he is needed, LeMahieu shows up and provides it. Even LeMahieu's highlights have a way of not being visible. LeMahieu isn't into grabbing attention that isn't based on trying to win games.  "I probably wouldn't be the first pick for a reality show," LeMahieu said, laughing.

    Actually, LeMahieu is the fellow who shows up on a reality show without a shtick and in the end is walking away with the prize briefcase.

    LeMahieu provides exactly what he exudes—stability. "I don't think he's grown on me," Colorado manager Walt Weiss said. "I thought when I saw him at the beginning of the season he was a good player. He's been very steady for us. He's been productive on both sides of the ball. He's a solid player, a winning player."

    "He wants to beat the other team every minute that he's on the field," said Glenallen Hill, who managed LeMahieu at Colorado Springs. "It's hard to see that sometimes, but lock in on him and watch him for nine innings, and you can see his intent."

    "I go into every game wanting to be perfect," LeMahieu said. "That doesn't usually happen, but that's my goal. And I'm playing to win. I'm not the type of player that's going to put up huge numbers, but I've got to be the kind of player that helps a team win, whether it's doing the little things or coming up big in a certain situation."

  • June 20, 2015: LeMahieu is letting his father sleep a little more these days. He's not rousing dad from bed at some dawn hour, wanting to get in several hours of baseball before it gets too hot outside.

    But Tom LeMahieu still brings a smile to the face of his son. As MLB.com celebrates Father's Day, the LeMahieus celebrate a relationship that began as playmate-to-playmate and stayed that way even though dad was teaching and raising him. As a toddler and through elementary school, D.J. depended on his dad to teach him how to compete, usually through made-up games, and father doubled as his coach until high school. But now, D.J.'s father plays a way more important role.

    "He didn't play in the Major Leagues, didn't claim to play in the Major Leagues," LeMahieu said. "But for me, he's the guy who's always positive. At this point in my career, you need all the positive you can get. It's real easy to be hard on yourself in the big leagues. I talk to him almost every day. I'll go 0-for-4 with four strikeouts, and he'll somehow find the positive out of it."

    All the expensive lessons and expert coaches combined can't do for a player what Tom LeMahieu did for his son. The LeMahieus were living in Visalia, Calif., when D.J. was about 4 and taken by the game of baseball. Days in the Central Valley quickly grew hot, so any daytime activity needs to happen early. D.J. made sure to that.

    "My dad would hit me ground balls and throw batting practice, and we made it a game," a smiling LeMahieu said in a story he often tells. "He'd hit me 10 ground balls. If I misplayed one, it was a run for him. Then he'd throw me BP and we'd play a normal inning. We'd play nine innings, almost every day. For me at a young age, fielding ground balls was always competitive. If I missed a ball, it could cost me a run."

    There was another penalty for missing. "I had to run it down if I missed it."

    His father had the philosophy from the old "Fat Albert" cartoon: Fun, and if you're not careful you may learn something before it's done.

    "I didn't want it to become something where he was getting tired of it," said Tom LeMahieu. "Every now and then, I'd ask, 'Do you still want to play?' And he'd say, 'Oh, yeah.' Not only did he want to do it, but he was competitive about it. Even to this day, if you come up with something to do and make a game out of it, he's into it."

    "He became more of a mentor than a coach," LeMahieu said. "A lot of dads, they want their hands on everything. For him to step back and say, 'Your coaches are your coaches, so do what they say and listen to them,' that was perfect. He's not a know-it-all, doesn't claim to be." (T Harding - MLB.com - June 19, 2015)

  • In 2015, LeMahieu was selected to the All-Star Game.

    For D.J., it was a night of recognition, finding himself in the starting lineup at second base when Dee Gordon was scratched with an injury. He kept his focus on his approach to hitting, lining out to center field in the third and lining out to right field in the fifth.

  • Sept 30, 2016: With the NL batting title in hand, LeMahieu exited the Rockies' 4-1 win over the Brewers after the third inning. It will likely be the last time LeMahieu plays all season, as he effectively clinches the National League batting title. LeMahieu started the game 0-for-2 with a fielder's choice and fly out but still leads Nationals infielder Daniel Murphy .3478 to .3472. Murphy is battling a left gluteal strain and hasn't played since Sept. 20 or started since Sept. 17.

    Rockies manager Walt Weiss previously said that he would be willing to manipulate LeMahieu's playing time to help him secure the batting title since it is won over 162 games and not any one game.

    "It's a unique situation because Murphy is injured and not playing," Weiss said before the game. "If he's playing, they can fight it out, but I don't want DJ to lose a batting title that way. So, yeah, I'm going to pay attention to the math. My philosophy, whether you like it or not is I'm going to take care of the guys that take care of our team." (T Harding - MLB.com - Oct 1, 2016)

    TRANSACTIONS

  • June 2009: LeMahieu signed with the Cubs, via scout Steve Riha, after the team chose him in the second round, out of LSU. D.J. received a bonus of $508,000.
  • December 8, 2011: The Rockies sent Ian Stewart and Casey Weathers to the Cubs, acquiring LeMahieu and OF Tyler Colvin.
Batting
  • LeMahieu has a nice righthanded uppercut swing that launches balls deep into the night. He is a pure hitter—maybe the purest hitter in the Cubs' organization (in 2010 and 2011). In the minors, he hit for great batting averages.

    He consistently makes contact on the sweet spot, using an inside-out swing to line the ball to the opposite field. He is a big guy who may develop home run power later, but right now (2011) he is a solid line drive hitter.

  • D.J. needs to cut down on his swing and do a better job of staying back against good pitchers. That and an ability to recognize pitches he can drive should enable him to hit .290 to .300 with 10 or 12 home runs per season.
  • Overall, he is a patient righthanded hitter with an inside-out/opposite field swing.
  • His swing can get a little long, at times. And he doesn't walk enough, nor have much power, preferring to stay inside pitches and serve them to the opposite field. He rarely turns on a pitch or drives it for power. But he will hit a lot of doubles once he learns to recognize which pitches he can drive.
  • In 2012, during his first callup to the Majors, LeMahieu went from a guy behind on pitches to one who might be able to add pull power to his inside-out stroke.
  • LeMahieu remembers showing up at the ballpark in Daytona early one afternoon in the middle of the 2010 season. Richie Zisk, the manager of the Cubs' High A affiliate in the Florida State League was in the batting cage in an otherwise empty ballpark, taking swings against the pitching machine.  

    "He was hitting line drives in every direction," said LeMahieu, "and he would scream, 'It's not that hard. Hitting's not that hard.'"  

    It was, said Zisk, a message he wanted to get across to the young prospects he was in charge of for the summer. "I wanted to drive home the point," Zisk said. "It was about talent and dedication. It was not a matter of playing ability. It was about mental toughness."  

    LeMahieu got the message, loud and clear. Struggling to survive in the first half of that season—his first full season in pro ball—he finished so strong that he wound up with a .314 average and 73 RBIs. He has handled the challenges ever since, including 2014  when he became the tallest full-fledged second baseman in big league history, winning a Gold Glove. And in 2015, when he was selected to be a member of the National League All-Star team.  

    LeMahieu tipped his hat to Zisk. "That's kind of him to say, but the young man has a lot of talent," said Zisk. "He got to the big leagues because he earned it, and he is an All-Star because he earned it. He made the commitment."  

    Given the opportunity he took advantage of it, and this year he has taken a firm grip on the position with his continued development as a hitter. And for this offensive emergence his first thanks goes to Zisk.  

    "It was a pivotal point in my career," said LeMahieu. "It was my first full season in pro ball. I was really bad that first half. He never stopped working with me."  

    Zisk said it was a matter of expanding LeMahieu's offensive vision.  LeMahieu had an excellent approach to driving the ball the other way. Zisk felt it was important to make LeMahieu aware of the inner part of the plate.  

    "This wasn't a one-day or one-week thing," Zisk said. "It's something we worked on and worked on. It was a matter of him becoming aware of the inner half of the plate and times when he had to make the adjustment."  

    LeMahieu made that adjustment. (Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com./2015)

  • In 2016, D.J. won the National League batting title. LeMahieu finished with a .348 batting average—one point ahead of the Nationals' Daniel Murphy. It was the 10th batting title for the Rockies.

  • As of the start of the 2017 season, LeMahieu had a career Major League batting average of .300 with 26 homers and 223 RBI in 2,303 at-bats.
Fielding
  • D.J. has soft hands and a strong arm. He has the solid attributes to do pretty well at third base. 
  • LeMahieu is too slow and methodical at shortstop, so he can't be a regular there. He has a big frame and has trouble turning the double play from short.

    But he does a better job at second base. There, he has plenty of arm. 

  • Many scouts see D.J. as a utility guy who plays average defense.

    He does a fine job at third base, where his solid arm and soft hands play well. But his lack of home run power won't allow him to be a starter at the hot corner.

  • On August 28, 2012, Rockies second baseman D.J. LeMahieu wrote his name in the history books. His 12 assists tied a Major League record for assists by a second baseman. He was the 10th second baseman to do so, the first since Seattle’s Harold Reynolds on Aug. 27, 1986.

    “I had no clue, I just knew that I had a lot of action,” LeMahieu said. “I was shocked, but it was pretty cool. I felt like I didn’t make any tough plays, so my pitchers made it easy.”

  • LeMahieu's defensive positioning has grown steadily, especially in 2013. And after the season, Wilson named D.J. as the 2013 Defensive Player of the Year for the Rockies. LeMahieu posted a .993 fielding percentage in 442 chances.

    Formed in 2012, the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award winners are determined by using a formula that balances scouting information, sabermetric analysis, and basic fielding statistics.

  • LeMahieu’s strengths are his outstanding defensive ability and his versatility. Already in his career, he’s played every infield position.

    GOLD GLOVER

  • In 2014, LeMahieu earned his first Gold Glove award.
  • He has put to rest the attitude so many had that at 6-foot-4, he was too tall to play the position. "That's what I always felt was my biggest challenge, getting the opportunity," LeMahieu said. "I always felt I could play second base if they would let me."

    The only other player to stand 6-foot-4 and play even 100 games at second base was George "High Pockets" Kelly, a Hall of Fame first baseman with the New York Giants who started at second one year when Frankie Frisch was injured. Dick "Turkey" Hall, who stood 6-foot-6, was originally an outfielder with the Pirates, but played seven games at second base, before eventually becoming a pitcher.

    "He has a feel for the position," said Rockies shortstop Tulowitzki, an All-Star himself. "It may not be an orthodox approach but he has a feel for the game. I've heard people say he 'Makes all the plays.' I'd say, no, he makes more than all the plays." (T Ringolsby - MLB.com - July 15, 2015)

Running
  • D.J. has only average speed. But he manages to steal his share of bases.
  • LeMahieu has a two qualities, quiet and sneaky, that help him steal bases.

    "I'm not one of those base-stealers who are going to steal when they know I'm going," LeMahieu said. "But if I can pick my certain times here and there, I can be successful at that." (3/20/14)

Career Injury Report
  • Summer 2008: D.J. came down with a case of mononucleosis while playing for Harwich in the Cape Cod League.