One Yankees great believes Anthony Volpe is more ready for the majors at his age than Derek Jeter

mlb: new york yankees at detroit tigers, anthony volpe
Aug 29, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Anthony Volpe (11) celebrates with teammates after hitting a home run in the ninth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Volpe showed precocity and durability at shortstop for the New York Yankees in 2023, which has garnered much praise from one franchise great.

As Willie Randolph sees it, not only was Volpe’s rookie season one to marvel at, it may have even proven him to have been more seasoned as an all-around talent than Yankees legend Derek Jeter.

Per Randy Miller of NJ.com, Randolph put it plainly:

“As a matter of fact, I think Anthony is more polished than Jeter was at the same time.”

Anthony Volpe’s Gold Glove Winning Season is Worthy of Much Praise

Volpe recorded 186 putouts and 357 assists to only 17 errors in a 2023 campaign that saw the 22-year-old shortstop win the Gold Glove award.

He became the first Yankees shortstop since Jeter to win the award which adds credence to Randolph’s take. But is Volpe better at age 22 than Jeter was?

Was Derek Jeter as Good as Volpe Defensively at 22 Years Old?

Jeter’s 1996 sophomore campaign with the Yankees saw him play well at shortstop. Though he didn’t take home a Gold Glove like Volpe, he did put up 244 putouts, 444 assists, and 22 errors which slightly nudges Volpe in the former two categories.

Jeter’s Offensive Play and Championship Run Sets Himself Apart From Volpe

At the plate is where Jeter outshines Volpe at this early juncture of his career. Jeter put together a .314/.370/.430 slash line, proving to be uber-efficient in 582 at-bats. His batting average ranked No. 14 in the American League that year and he was also No. 11 with six triples.

Comparatively, Volpe was not a very efficient hitter last season, going .209/.283/.383, though he has a 24-14 stolen bases advantage.

Where Jeter may set himself apart is in winning the World Series in 1996. He was a focal point of the Yankees’ offense and though not resounding as a power hitter with only 10 home runs on the year, his contributions elsewhere, namely with 78 RBIs, make it an interesting debate. Randolph clearly sees a bright future ahead for Volpe and would know just about as well as anybody whether or not Volpe can continue to play at a pace that draws comparison to Jeter moving forward.

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