The Yankees are watching their young shortstop blossom into a star

MLB: New York Yankees at San Diego Padres
Credit: Chadd Cady-USA TODAY Sports

If you blink, you might miss Yankees shortstop Anthony Volpe extending his hitting streak, which now stands at a record-breaking 20 consecutive games, surpassing Derek Jeter’s previous record.

Volpe has been excellent in his sophomore season after a rookie campaign that certainly tested his spirit. After hitting just .209 with a .283 OBP last season, Volpe is putting together an excellent campaign, warranting a potential All-Star appearance if he continues at this pace.

Volpe’s Ascent to Becoming the Yankees’ Star Shortstop

This season, Volpe has been outstanding, boasting a .285/.356/.434 slash line over the first 55 games, complete with six homers, 23 RBIs, and 11 stolen bases. His current performance reflects a substantial reduction in his strikeout rate to 20.8%, down 7% from 2023, an 8.8% walk rate, and a 129 wRC+, demonstrating that he is 29% better than the average MLB hitter. He’s on track for a remarkable 7.6 WAR.

MLB: New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays, anthony volpe
Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Volpe initially struggled when moved to the leadoff position, but he has since adapted impressively. In April, his performance was solid at .259 with a .333 OBP, improving dramatically in May to .301/.354/.476. As the leadoff hitter, he’s now batting .265 with a .337 OBP, including four homers and 17 RBIs, showing signs of continued improvement in strikeout rate and OBP.

In the past, some argued that Volpe should be the starting second baseman, but he may go down as one of the best defensive shortstops the organization has ever seen when all is said and done.

Over 489 innings this season, Volpe’s fielding percentage sits at .977, with four defensive runs saved and seven outs above average. He’s on pace for over 20 outs above average. He is on pace to surpass his last year’s franchise record of 15 defensive runs saved.

The Yankees have high hopes for Volpe’s continued development. His relentless work ethic has begun to pay dividends, solidifying his position at the top of the lineup.

At just 23 years old, he has secured the leadoff spot and looks set to remain a key player for the Yankees for years to come. With stars like Juan Soto and Aaron Judge following him in the lineup, Volpe’s role is crucial: get on base and set the stage for the heavy hitters, a task he has excelled at this season.

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