Should the Yankees move rookie shortstop to second base long-term?

yankees, anthony volpe
Jun 4, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Anthony Volpe (11) throws to first for the out against Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Will Smith (16) during the first inning at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The rise of New York Yankees rookie shortstop, Anthony Volpe, to the big leagues this season has sparked widespread debate and discussion.

The Second Base Debate: Volpe’s Ideal Position With the Yankees?

There’s a growing sentiment advocating for Volpe’s transition to second base full-time. Proponents believe his arm would be better suited there, providing the Yankees with a sustainable solution.

Given the influx of high-profile defensive shortstop prospects, such as Oswald Peraza, some argue for him to occupy the shortstop spot until newer talents make their MLB debut. While future prospects like Trey Sweeney and Roderick Arias are noteworthy, many overlook Volpe’s commendable defensive performance this season.

[su_posts template=”templates/list-loop.php” posts_per_page=”3″ tax_term=”1622326″ offset=”1″ order=”desc”]

Breaking Down Volpe’s Defensive Prowess

Aged just 22, Volpe has already logged 995 innings at shortstop and boasts an impressive .976 fielding percentage with a total of 10 errors, most of which were committed before the All-Star break. He now holds a record within the Yankee organization, leading with 13 defensive runs saved and four outs above average.

For those skeptical about Volpe’s position, it’s worth noting he saved 13 runs this season aloneā€”a record for the team. Such a stellar defensive performance certainly adds weight to the argument for Volpe being the long-term solution at shortstop.

Volpe’s Offensive Metrics: A Closer Look

On the offensive front, Volpe’s current statistics stand at a .214 batting average, a .293 OBP, alongside 16 home runs, a 27.4% strikeout rate, a 9.5% walk rate, and an 89 wRC+.

During August, the budding infielder improved, registering a .250 batting average, .354 OBP, .550 slugging percentage, and .904 OPS, further complemented by three home runs and 11 RBIs. While his offensive season has seen its ups and downs, Volpe’s recent performances echo the prowess he displayed throughout his minor league journey.

However, there are areas needing refinement, particularly his performance against breaking and offspeed pitches. With a .268 batting average against fastballs and a mere .138 against breaking balls, there’s room for growth. His statistics also highlight a need to enhance his strikeout rate and perform better against right-handed pitchers.

For the current year, his record against righties stands at a .205 batting average and a .279 OBP, though he fares better against left-handed pitchers.

The Yankees recognized his potential early on, granting him ample opportunity since his promotion. Volpe has indeed repaid their faith in select areas, especially his power and defense during the season’s latter half. As potential future All-Star material, Volpe seems perfectly capable of holding down the shortstop position long-term. This capability provides the Yankees the strategic advantage to contemplate an extension for Gleyber Torres if deemed appropriate.