Anthony Volpe backed to surpass Jeter at comparable age, claims insider

Derek Jeter and Anthony Volpe, player of the new york yankees
Amanda Paula
Friday April 12, 2024

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Anthony Volpe has emerged as one of the most impactful players for the New York Yankees early in the 2024 season. The 23-year-old phenom is widely expected to cement his place as a cornerstone of the Yankees’ lineup and make a major statement at Yankee Stadium this year.

In fact, renowned ESPN analyst Paul Hembekides believes Volpe is primed to outshine even the breakout performance of Yankees legend Derek Jeter back in 1997, when Jeter was also just 23 years old. Volpe’s combination of natural talent, poise, and production has many around the league convinced that 2024 could be the year he truly arrives as a superstar-caliber player.

Does the comparison make sense?

Derek Jeter and Anthony Volpe, player of the new york yankees
AP

If the comparasion with Derek Jeter may sound weird to you, the numbers won’t lie. In 1997, Derek Jeter – in his second full season – hit .291 with a .370 on-base percentage, .405 slugging percentage (103 OPS+), 116 runs scored (4th in AL), and 190 hits (3rd in AL). He also provided solid defense at shortstop, accumulating 5.0 WAR for the 96-win Yankees.

Hembekides believes Anthony Volpe is primed to eclipse those numbers this year. He noted Volpe’s impressive defensive metrics (+18 career Defensive Runs Saved) and improved approach at the plate, where he’s making better swing decisions and producing more hard opposite-field contact.

After a rocky rookie campaign in 2023, where he hit .209 with 167 strikeouts in 601 plate appearances, Volpe has come out of the gates hot in 2024. He’s currently batting .372 with a 1.04 OPS in 43 at-bats.

Anthony Volpe’s offseason work on his swing mechanics has quickly paid dividends, as he was recently elevated to the leadoff spot in the Yankees‘ lineup. He expressed excitement about the new role, having previously hit sixth, seventh, and fifth in the order.

Anthony Volpe’s hot start sparks Yankees’ playoff push

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 05: Anthony Volpe #11 of the New York Yankees looks on during batting practice prior to the game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on Friday, April 5, 2024 in New York, New York.
MLB

The Yankees have gotten off to a blistering start to the 2024 season, thanks in large part to the emergence of their talented young shortstop, Anthony Volpe. The 23-year-old has been on a tear, solidifying himself as a key cog in the Yankees’ potent offense.

Through the first 12 games, Anthony Volpe is hitting a scorching .372 with 2 home runs and 6 RBIs, numbers that put him near the top of the MLB leaderboard. His on-base percentage of .460 and OPS of 1.041 have been vital in the Yankees’ 10-3 start, which has them atop the American League East standings.

For example, Steven Kwan from the Guardians, who is set to face him tomorrow following the postponement of game 1 due to bad weather, currently leads the standings with 22 hits. Remarkably, he has also scored the same number of home runs thus far.

Anthony Volpe has made his mark in the MLB 2024 hitting rankings.
MLB

Anthony Volpe’s success has come as a bit of a surprise, as he struggled mightily at the plate during his rookie campaign in 2023, hitting just .209. However, a deeper dive into the numbers shows that Volpe has made significant improvements in several key areas. His whiff rate has plummeted to 12.2%, putting him in the 96th percentile of the league, while his walk rate has spiked. These gains, coupled with Volpe’s proven ability to impact the game with his speed, have turned him into a more well-rounded and dangerous hitter.

The Yankees’ decision to elevate Anthony Volpe to the leadoff spot in their series finale against Miami last Wednesday further solidified the organization’s confidence in the young shortstop. While some may perceive it as an experimental move, the Yankees likely regard it as a preview of their future, envisioning Anthony Volpe as a potential catalyst at the forefront of their lineup.

Anthony Volpe’s breakout has coincided with the strong play of fellow young star Juan Soto, who has also been a driving force behind the Yankees’ resurgence. Juan Soto, acquired in a blockbuster trade last season, has picked up where he left off, hitting .360 with 2 home runs and 12 RBIs.

Anthony Volpe blasts a three-run homer, igniting the Yankees' scoreboard in the bottom of the 4th inning against the Miami Marlins last Wednesday, April 10, 2024.
MLB

It’s also a fact that the Yankees have been making their best efforts to make Juan Soto feel at home. However, with Anthony Volpe also emerging as a star, the Yankees now have two young talents leading their charge back to the playoffs.

With Anthony Volpe and Juan Soto at the forefront, the Yankees have catapulted back into contention as one of baseball’s elite teams. Fangraphs underscores their remarkable turnaround, giving them an 86.4% chance of clinching a playoff spot and a 9.5% shot at seizing the World Series title in 2024.

As the season progresses, the key question will be whether the Yankees can sustain this level of production. If Volpe and the rest of the lineup can maintain their hot streaks, the team could be well on its way to a deep postseason run. For now, Volpe’s emergence has been a sight to behold, and Yankees fans are hopeful that he can continue to make his mark on the franchise’s storied history.

All eyes will be on Anthony Volpe to see if he can sustain this torrid start and translate it into a true breakout season, potentially surpassing the benchmark set by Yankees icon Derek Jeter during his own sophomore campaign.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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