Yankees’ young shortstop eyeing big 2024 campaign

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees, anthony volpe
John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are eyeing the World Series in 2024, preparing to introduce some fresh talent to their roster. While the off-season has been relatively subdued for General Manager Brian Cashman, he made notable strides in bolstering the outfield by securing Juan Soto and Alex Verdugo.

Together, these acquisitions are set to earn over $35 million, revitalizing a unit that faced challenges last season. Amidst these additions, the Yankees have high hopes for Anthony Volpe, the 22-year-old shortstop, as he embarks on his sophomore year with a strong commitment to refining his skills and enhancing his game.

Anthony Volpe: The Promise of Progress

Volpe’s debut season was a rollercoaster of achievements and learning curves. Despite the fluctuations, his potential is undeniable, fueled by an admirable work ethic.

Last season, he managed a .209/.283/.383 slash line, demonstrating his power with 21 home runs and 60 RBIs. A focal point for 2024 is improving his on-base percentage to bolster his overall impact on the team.

Notably, Volpe’s 42.7% hard-hit rate and 9% barrel rate underscore his ability to connect with the ball effectively. The upcoming season aims to see him making these quality contacts more consistently and optimizing his home run potential.

The Yankees Need Consistency

In his pursuit of excellence, Volpe is meticulously working on fine-tuning his strengths and addressing any inconsistencies. His dedication to improvement is evident, as he seeks to leverage the full breadth of resources available within the organization to elevate his performance.

“I think just taking some of the strengths of my game and trying to make those more consistent,” Volpe told Greg Joyce of the New York Post on Saturday at the “Pinstripe Pride” autograph signing event at American Dream in New Jersey. “With that, ironing out some of the things that can set me up for as much success as I expect.”

Despite facing challenges against breaking and offspeed pitches, Volpe’s commitment to distinguishing between pitch types better is a critical area of focus for his development. By honing his ability to read pitches more accurately, Volpe aims to overcome these hurdles and emerge as a more formidable hitter.

“Just [working on] different things I felt like I did well and didn’t do well with consistency and stuff like that,” Volpe said. “Trying to use all the resources and the organization, everyone helping out to help everyone improve.”

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Positioned for Growth and Contribution

Projected to occupy the ninth spot in the lineup, Volpe is afforded the opportunity to develop at a measured pace, relieved from the immediate pressure to perform.

This strategic placement allows him to focus on incremental growth and adapt to the major league environment more comfortably. With the Yankees steadfast in their support, refusing to trade Volpe despite numerous offers, his role within the team is clear.

As one of the most anticipated prospects in recent years, Volpe’s journey is closely watched, with expectations of him evolving into an All-Star caliber player in the near future. The 2024 season presents a vital opportunity for Volpe to leverage his raw talent, apply his offseason learnings, and contribute significantly to the Yankees’ championship aspirations.