Yankees
Who gives the Yankees the best chance to win? Is it Luke Voit or Greg Bird? The #Yankees have an interesting first base battle on their hands (Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post)

Who’s on first? Well, we don’t really know for sure. The New York Yankees have a first base battle on their hands. Who will take control of the position? Is it Luke Voit’s job to lose or will Greg Bird live up to his former top prospect status? Either way, for the Yankees to reach their full potential, one of them needs to take the next step and put together a productive full season. Let’s examine who gives the Yankees the best chance to win?

Yankees
Luke Voit finished the 2018 season on a tear with the Yankees (Elsa/Getty Images)

Luke Voit

Every team seems to have that old veteran who is stuck in AAA and for whatever reason never got the opportunity to get regular big league at-bats. You can find that guy on any roster. The Cardinals had two of those guys (Jose Martinez and Luke Voit). Both turned out to be pretty damn good. With no DH in the National League (the dumbest rule of all time that there’s no DH in the NL, but I digress) St. Louis decided to move off one of them. Voit was dealt to the Yankees for a bag of peanuts. All Voit did after the trade to New York is lit baseballs up with his bat.

In 143 at-bats with New York, Voit hit .322/.398/.671. That also came with 15 big flys. Is that kind of production real or just a flash in the pan? After spending most of his career in AAA and changing leagues, nobody really had a scouting report on Voit. When you dig into his splits, you really don’t see much variance either. Whether it be left or right handed pitching, Voit crushed both. He even hit better away from the bandbox that is Yankee Stadium.

Yankees
Are we giving up on Greg Bird too soon? (Corey Sipkin/Getty)

Greg Bird

If you asked Brian Cashman this question 3 years ago, I bet he probably would have thought that Bird was the first baseman of the future. Despite those plans, nothing Bird has done thus far indicates he’s a big league first baseman. In 659 career at-bats, Bird is a .214/.302/.386 hitter. That’s awful. He’s also struck out 179 times too. He’s also a negative WAR defender.

Bird does have some things on his side. We have seen flashes of potential. He has some big postseason home runs against the Indians in 2017. His numbers in 2015 when he first reached the big leagues were more than respectable. Maybe we should have just expected him to take time to get back to normal after missing the entire 2016 season because of an injury.

Verdict!

While the first base question may be a fair one to ask, thus far it has to be Luke Voit’s job to lose. On days that Giancarlo Stanton plays the outfield, you can put both of them in the lineup. If Voit continues to hit, he should get the regular at-bats. If Voit fails, you can always go back to some sort of a platoon. Voit is a righty and Bird is a lefty so you can pick and choose matchups if it gets to that point.