Yankees’ young shortstop starting to turn a corner

yankees, anthony volpe
Jun 4, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Anthony Volpe (11) throws to first for the out against Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Will Smith (16) during the first inning at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Volpe, the rookie shortstop for the New York Yankees, has had a challenging debut season. Contrary to the high expectations set during Spring Training, Volpe has struggled with his offensive game and exhibited a worrying strikeout rate.

Anthony Volpe Turning the Corner?

Despite these early hiccups, the 22-year-old is gradually finding his rhythm. A significant moment occurred in a recent match against the formidable Texas Rangers, where Volpe hit a double into the left-center field, kickstarting a critical eighth-inning rally that powered the Yankees to a 5-3 victory. This rally was a first for the team in some time, and the hit was a much-needed boost for Volpe.

A Season of Ups and Downs

So far, Volpe’s performance this season has been a mixed bag. While he’s demonstrated his potential with 10 home runs and 15 stolen bases, he’s been batting just .195 with a .637 OPS. His 89 strikeouts are tied for 13th in the MLB, indicating room for improvement.

Changing the Game

A turning point came during a dinner with the Yankees’ top-catching prospect, Austin Wells. Volpe found something amiss in his swing and decided to alter his plate mechanics. He started using a more closed stance at the plate, aiming to shorten his swing. The change seems to be paying off.

In his last six games, Volpe has been hitting .286 with a home run and an RBI. He’s recorded hits in four out of those six games. Although his strikeout rate over this period is still at 43%, the increase in hits is a promising sign, with hopes that this trend will continue and his strikeout rate will decrease over time.

Yankees Manager Aaron Boone expressed optimism about Volpe’s progress, commenting after Sunday’s win, “Whatever’s going on, he’s got the right mindset. I think he walks up there with confidence.”

Looking Ahead

As Volpe rides the wave of his recent improvement, he has a golden opportunity to continue his upward trend. The Yankees are set to start a three-game series against the Oakland A’s on Tuesday, a team historically less challenging. It provides the perfect platform for Volpe to build on his performance and further prove his mettle.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @DylanBacker_

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