New York Yankees top prospects Anthony Volpe is experiencing his first action at the MLB level to open the 2023 season. The young shortstop has played in just eight games, experiencing 29 plate appearances. The sample size is small, but Volpe is experiencing a far more competitive level of play, in which he has struggled to pick up on pitches at times, but this was expected given his youth.
The 21-year-old is hitting just .160 with a .276 OVP, posting three runs and stealing three bases. He has a 34.5% strikeout rate and 13.8% walk rate, so while he has displayed levels of patience in the batter’s box, he’s been swinging at pitches, dipping and diving out of the zone, trying to pick up on professional level movement, which is easier said than done.
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The Yankees are giving Anthony Volpe a long leash:
Management was always going to provide Volpe with enough time to develop comfort and consistency at the MLB level. While he’s been struggling significantly the past few days, he came up big on Saturday night with the first extra-base hit of his career.
Volpe launched a triple off the right field wall, a ball that would’ve quickly cleared the fence in Yankee Stadium, but he displayed hustle and speed around the base paths, putting himself in a position to score, which inevitably led him to tally a run.
Volpe was just 1-for-16 heading into that specific at-bat, having only posted two hits in his last five games, striking out eight times in the process. However, his teammates rallied behind him and presented him with the Player of the Game belt, despite the obvious fact that Jhony Brito was far more deserving.
“I was going through it and struggling and they were there for me every step of the way… to get recognized by them makes it better than getting recognized by anyone else.”
Volpe is getting his first taste of major-league struggles, which can be continuous and frustrating. Smacking that triple likely elevated his confidence, an essential variable in his success, which was on full display during spring training.
The Yankees are prepared to ride with Anthony’s cold streaks, but similar to his development at every level, it usually takes him a few weeks, if not two months, to find his groove. The Yankees are already eight games into the season, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Volpe started heating up and showing signs of life soon.