Yankees’ young shortstop is facing serious developmental hurdles

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

The New York Yankees took the field on Wednesday having lost 17 of their last 23 games. Just about every unit on the team (offense, starting pitching, bullpen, defense, and others) has regressed if we compare this current team with its April or May version. However, the most shocking development involves young shortstop Anthony Volpe.

It’s easy to remember how good Volpe was to open the season. In case you can’t, we will help you: after his 15th game of the year, he was hitting .382/.477/.564 and was looking like the American League’s breakout star.

Since his 16th game, which came on April 15, Volpe is hitting a highly disappointing .227/.273/.342 with just four home runs in 354 plate appearances. The Yankees, for much of that time, kept him as their leadoff hitter but are now trying different alternatives there, for good reason.

The Yankees would love to get more from Volpe

MLB: New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays, anthony volpe
Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Simply put, it might be time for all of us to adjust our expectations from Volpe. For the season, he is hitting a poor .249/.305/.374 with six homers, 15 stolen bases and a .679 OPS. The fact he is a Gold Glover at a premium position and runs the bases well (despite an ugly mistake that cost the Yankees a run a few games ago) gives him a relatively high floor, but there are concerns about Volpe’s offense that makes us all wonder if Yanks’ fans overrated him at one point.

Volpe has the potential to be better than this. However, it’s becoming evident that he is not nearly in the same league as other top shortstops such as Gunnar Henderson or Bobby Witt Jr. just to name a couple.

The Yankees would probably be happy if he settled in the .740, .750-OPS range. With his defense, modest pop, and wheels, he could be a solid contributor. But he is not even near that threshold and has done nothing but struggle since the start of June (.199/.224/.285, .509 OPS).

Will Volpe ever show the talent that made him a consensus top-10 prospect in baseball ahead of the 2023 campaign?

Mentioned in this article:

More about: