Luke Voit burst onto the scene last August and September to earn the Yankees' starting first baseman job.
He's on a mission to prove he won't be a one-time wonder.
"I think everyone thinks last year was a fluke probably," Voit said, according to the New York Post's George A. King III, after hitting a three-run homer in his spring training debut Sunday against the Rays. "But like I said, I am not going to let anyone else control what they think about me. Get the job done and be the first baseman for the Yankees."
Both Yankees first basemen have gotten off to hot starts through the first two Grapefruit League games. Greg Bird went 2-for-2 in Saturday's opener, while Voit went 2-for-3 with a homer and an RBI single in an 8-5 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.
"It was a good start for him," manager Aaron Boone said of Voit.
Luke Unit hit it back to New York. 👀 pic.twitter.com/ODH2J7jRky- MLB (@MLB) February 24, 2019
More than wanting to improve his defense -- "I want to win a Gold Glove, that's kind of my mindset," he said -- Voit wants to show he can sustain his power numbers at the plate.
The Yankees acquired Voit in a low-level deadline deal with the St. Louis Cardinals, and he dominated American League pitching. He slashed .333/.405/.689 with 14 home runs and 33 RBIs in a 39-game span.
Voit struggled to get playing time behind Jose Martinez and Matt Carpenter with the Cardinals, but he overtook a struggling Bird to earn the starting job late in the 2018 regular season and in the playoffs.
"I have always been a guy who has had to grind his way up to the big leagues," Voit said. "I had to hit my way up there and no-one-in-my-corner type of thing. I know I can hit, man. Just getting those consistent at-bats. ... I got stuck behind Matt Carpenter and Jose Martinez and they are great players. It is business and I get it."
Now, Voit hopes he can sustain those numbers over a 162-game season.
"I do what I can control and I know it's brought up a lot," Voit said. "Control the at-bats and the strike zone."