The Yankees might have another All-Star in the infield this season

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

While all eyes have been on Juan Soto and his instant impact the past two games, the Yankees are getting tremendous production and value from second-year shortstop Anthony Volpe.

Just 22 years old, Volpe redeveloped his swing this past off-season, looking for more balance and structure. Opposing pitchers would try to expand the strike zone last season, forcing Volpe to take unnecessary risks and swing at pitches that simply weren’t in his wheelhouse.

The Yankees Are Loving Anthony Volpe’s Growth

However, keeping his head more steady and swing path more level, Volpe is already starting to see the results of his hard work.

This spring, he hit .314/.364/.471, including one homer and five RBIs over 18 games. He has started out the regular season on an equally hot note, hitting .333/.600/.500, collecting two runs and an RBI. On Friday night against Houston, he collected one hit and two runs, striking out once.

After opening day, manager Aaron Boone was already noticing a significant difference in his approach and confidence, suggesting that he was exactly where they envisioned him to be.

“Embodied what we want to be,” Boone said on Thursday. “He was great. He was on time, [had] tough at-bats. More of what we’ve been seeing.”

The eye test tells the entire story with Volpe. He looks like a 10-year veteran, and he looks confident and solid in the batter’s box, especially against quality Houston pitching. He’s been able to make good contact and provide value where he was more of a liability in 2023.

“He looks like a way better hitter to me,” Boone said. “Period.”

When it comes to the young shortstop, nobody is concerned about his defensive value after he won a Gold Glove as a rookie and set the Yankees’ franchise record with 15 defensive runs saved.

Despite many calling for him to move to second base, he has locked down the shortstop position for the foreseeable future, and his focus is now on improving his offensive contributions.

The early returns seem exciting, and Volpe will have another opportunity on Saturday night to take advantage of Hunter Brown, the Astros’ 25-year-old starter, coming off a 5.09 ERA season over 155.2 innings in 2023. Brown was solid during spring training, hosting a 2.12 ERA over 17 innings, but the Yankees will be looking to take advantage of an Astros team desperate to pick up their first win.

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