The Yankees might get an All-Star season from their young shortstop

MLB: New York Yankees at Houston Astros
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Despite leaving the bases loaded on two separate occasions, the New York Yankees managed to squeak out a win on opening day against the Houston Astros. Emerging 5–4 after facing a 4–0 deficit in the second inning, the Yankees leaned on some of their veterans to pick up the slack.

However, second-year shortstop Anthony Volpe had a fantastic day, showcasing his discipline in the batter’s box and newfound approach. He picked up three walks, a hit, and a run across two at-bats, including one strikeout. The plate discipline he displayed and his confidence were significantly better than what he showcased during his rookie campaign.

Last season, the 22-year-old hit .209/.283/.383, having some issues with his swing fundamentals. He even tried to correct some issues midseason that were identified by teammate Austin Wells.

The Yankees’ offense simply wasn’t capable of generating much production, and he was forced into a position where he had to contribute. Now, the Yankees have players like Juan Soto and Alex Verdugo in the mix, helping support an offense that projects to be one of the best in the game.

The Yankees Are Seeing Anthony Volpe Grow Before Their Eyes

This spring, Volpe was red hot, hitting .314/.364/.471, including one homer and five RBIs, with an 18.2% percent strikeout rate and 124 wRC+. If he can replicate those numbers during the regular season, the Yankees may see him blossom into an All-Star in just his second season.

Defensively, the Yanks are excited about his upside. He won a Gold Glove in his first season and collected 15 defensive runs saved, a franchise record.

The early returns are exciting, and Volpe was an impact piece batting in the lineup on Thursday. He will have another opportunity on Friday night to continue his hot stretch from the spring.

The Astros will feature Cristian Javier on the mound, a right-handed pitcher who had a decent spring. He’s given up a few homers and a lot of walks over the past month, so Volpe may be looking to make some quality contact and carry over his great start.

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