What to Expect from New Mets First Baseman Luke Voit

Luke Voit of the Milwaukee Brewers

The Mets took a chance earlier this year on an ex-Yankee in Gary Sánchez, who is thriving right now but not with the Amazins’. This week, the Mets have announced that another former Yankee slugger will join the organization. First baseman Luke Voit, who was recently DFA’d by the Brewers, will join the Mets on a Minor League deal. Here’s a closer look at the 32-year-old first baseman.

Related: What to Expect From New Angels Infielder Daniel Murphy

A Look at Voit

When Luke Voit signed with the Brewers this past March on a Minor League deal, we noted that the 32-year-old’s power was still very much there. On the other hand, it’s been a struggle for him to make contact in recent seasons.

Voit sported K% rates north of 30% — below league average — in each of the last two seasons and that hasn’t changed in 2023. Through his first 74 plate appearances of the season with Milwaukee, Voit owned a 36.5% K% rate, low BB% rate of 5.4%, and a 40.7% Whiff% rate.

The former Brewers infielder actually improved his chase habits in his brief stretch in the Midwest, but he struggled to catch up with stuff in the zone. Pitchers have tended to not feed Voit much in the way of fastballs this season, as 53.5% of the pitches he’s seen in 2023 have either been breaking balls or offspeed stuff.

Just from Voit’s charts, one could infer that the 32-year-old’s likely been in between timing at the dish. He’s seen a lot of changeups and breaking balls in the zone thus far, but has been unable to catch up to any of those pitches on a consistent basis. Here’s a look at all the offspeed and breaking balls he’s whiffed at in and out of the zone — 41 to be exact — this season:

Image via Baseball Savant

Per the Mets’ official Twitter account, Voit will report to Syracuse (AAA) on June 13.

What it Means for the Mets

The move to ink Voit is a depth move, but a curious one given that Pete Alonso will miss the next few weeks. And, Voit could come into play for the Mets if the 32-year-old can hit well down in Syracuse given the struggles of one of the team’s rookies.

Infielder Mark Vientos, called up last month by the Mets, seemed poised to benefit from Alonso’s absence. However, Vientos went 1-10 (.100) over the three games he’s played since Alonso went down.

Granted, the 23-year-old hasn’t had much of an opportunity to get settled at the MLB level. However, given that the Mets have opted to give Mark Canha more time at first recently and the fact that Vientos was subbed out of the Mets’ game on June 11 for a left-handed bat in Luis Guillorme are signs that at least for now, the Mets likely don’t completely trust Vientos to log regular time against both left and right-handers.

Voit, for the time being, will serve as an insurance policy.

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