Last Updated on November 10, 2023 at 6:22 am by Michael Bennington
When inquired about his inaugural season as a member of the Yankees, Anthony Volpe‘s response was straightforward. The rookie shortstop expressed “frustration”, stating that the team fell short of the standards they set for themselves, both as a collective unit and individually.
The Yankees concluded the season with an 82-80 record, securing a fourth-place spot in the AL East and failing to make the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
Anthony Volpe agrees with Cashman’s defense of the Yankees
During the GM meetings held on Tuesday, GM Brian Cashman took the opportunity to respond to his critics in the media. On Thursday, Anthony Volpe was questioned about Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner’s efforts to defend the organization.
Anthony Volpe conveyed that, based on his experience throughout the year, there is a unified effort within the entire organization, with everyone working toward the common goal of winning the World Series. He emphasized the collective desire for success.
Anthony Volpe is fully embracing Brian Cashman’s optimistic vision for his second season. He expressed that his expectations for himself and the team are very high. He acknowledged that the performance of the team last year did not meet those expectations and took responsibility for his part in it. He stated that he knew where he ought to be and was putting in the necessary work to achieve those goals.
Anthony Volpe achieved a historic milestone as the first rookie in Yankees history to achieve 20 or more home runs and 20 or more stolen bases. Additionally, he earned a Gold Glove Award during the season.
Is Anthony Volpe under pressure?
During the passionate tirade by the general manager on Tuesday, where he strongly defended the Yankees against its critics, Cashman may have inadvertently added some pressure on his 22-year-old shortstop who recently secured the AL Gold Glove.
Cashman expressed anticipation of seeing Anthony Volpe performing well offensively during the upcoming season. He mentioned that such success would reflect positively on the team’s development program, especially considering Volpe’s limited experience in Triple-A during his initial year.
Anthony Volpe dismissed the significance of his lack of experience that Cashman pointed out as the cause of his offensive struggles. He expressed his enjoyment of his first season and sees it as a valuable foundation for future growth. While acknowledging his offensive underperformance with a .209 batting average and a .666 OPS, Anthony Volpe mentioned that Cashman’s prediction doesn’t rattle him.
When questioned about his areas for improvement in the upcoming season, Anthony Volpe emphasized that he aims to enhance every aspect of his game. His .209 batting average during his rookie season was notably lower than the .262 he achieved in the minor leagues, where he displayed the ability to hit for a higher average. Looking ahead, the shortstop intends to kickstart his offseason workouts in Tampa shortly after the Christmas break, possibly training alongside his teammates.
Anthony Volpe expressed his desire to significantly improve as a hitter, noting that enhanced performance and results would naturally follow. He acknowledged that he didn’t fulfill his responsibilities to the extent he should have and emphasized the work he is putting in, expressing confidence that it will better position him for success and contribute to the team.
Rookie shortstop on Yankees’ bunting focus
To boost his batting average, Anthony Volpe could consider incorporating bunting into his strategy and making better use of his speed. This approach aligns with Aaron Boone’s recommendation to Hal Steinbrenner about the team’s need to focus more on bunting. While Boone expressed concerns to the owner regarding the team’s bunting instruction for young players, Anthony Volpe suggested that he didn’t encounter any problems with how it’s taught in the minor leagues.
Anthony Volpe acknowledged the importance of base-running and bunting skills, highlighting the guidance provided by Pat McMahon, the minor league coordinator for these aspects. While recognizing that the team practiced and trained for these skills in the minors, Anthony Volpe suggested that there might have been a need for more consistent implementation and emphasized the ongoing value of working on these aspects.
While Anthony Volpe focuses on improving his offensive skills, his defensive abilities have already set the bar in the AL. The rookie shortstop acknowledged that his teammates, coaches, and other individuals within the organization played a significant role in helping him secure the award. He expressed his deep appreciation for being the first Yankees rookie to achieve this feat.
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