The Yankees have their long-term solution at leadoff, and he’s on a 16-game hitting streak

May 1, 2024; Baltimore, Maryland, USA;  New York Yankees shortstop Anthony Volpe (11) throws to first base during the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

After a rookie season full of ups and downs for New York Yankees shortstop Anthony Volpe, the 23-year-old is hitting his stride in year two. Currently in the midst of a 16-game hitting streak, Volpe is turning into one of the Yankees’ most dangerous bats at the top of the order.

Anthony Volpe finding a groove in 2024 following an inconsistent 2023 season

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

In 2023, a spry, youthful Anthony Volpe won the starting job as shortstop of the New York Yankees after an impressive Spring Training which saw the shortstop slug five home runs to the tune of a 1.033 OPS. Hailed as the franchise’s next great shortstop, Volpe’s rookie campaign could be viewed through two completely different lenses.

On one hand, Volpe showcased a valuable power-speed combo with Gold Glove Defense, hitting 21 home runs and stealing 24 bases. On another, the New York native was inconsistent at the plate, hitting just .209 on the season, an average which at various points throughout the season was below the Mendoza Line, and boasting a devilish .666 OPS.

Volpe began 2024 in blazing fashion

MLB: Houston Astros at New York Yankees, anthony volpe
Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Year two in the bigs has told a much different story for the 23-year-old shortstop. Volpe came out of the gates red-hot to start the season, batting .417 with 15 hits, two home runs, three stolen bases, and an absurd 1.154 OPS through the first 10 games of the season.

Soon after his hot start, Volpe was promoted to the leadoff spot in the Yankees lineup. What followed was a prolonged slump that had many Yankees fans questioning if Volpe belonged in the leadoff spot. In Volpe’s first 25 games as the Yankees’ leadoff hitter, he managed just a .200 batting average, with only 20 hits, and 26 strikeouts. However, the shortstop would soon break out of his slump in a big way.

Yankees shortstop currently riding 16-game hitting streak

Volpe is currently in the midst of a 16-game hitting streak, looking more comfortable at the plate night in, and night out. During his hitting streak, Volpe is hitting .329, smacking three home runs and 10 RBI’s with a .903 OPS.

Volpe enjoying a much improved season in Year 2

Volpe’s hitting streak has raised his season average to .278 to go along with six home runs, 23 RBI’s, 10 stolen bases, an OPS of .778, and a 126 WRC+. Volpe’s WRC+ is significantly higher than last season when he managed just an 84 WRC+. Additionally, Volpe’s 2.2 fWAR this season is already higher than the 2.0 fWAR mark he set last season and ranks 14th in all of Major League Baseball.

After winning the American League Gold Glove at shortstop last season, it has been much of the same defensively for Volpe in 2024. Volpe has accumulated five Outs Above Average (OAA) per Baseball Savant, which ranks in the 97th percentile in the Majors and is second in the AL for shortstops behind Kansas City Royals SS Bobby Witt Jr. (eight). Volpe’s four Defensive Runs Saved in 2024 also ranks 4th amongst American League Shortstops.

Anthony Volpe has been one of the best shortstops in baseball so far in 2024. The 23-year-old is beginning to play to the expectations many Yankees fans had when he was named the next franchise shortstop just one year ago. The hometown kid is breaking out and could see himself making a bid for the American League All-Star team this summer if he continues to perform well.

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