Anthony Volpe gets vote of confidence from Yankees’ 5-time WS champ

Yankees legend Willie Randolph is seen with Anthony Volpe in the Yankees dugout.
Daniel Nolan
Sunday August 6, 2023

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At 22, it is just the beginning of his career for Anthony Volpe. The rookie season riding high on expectations from the Yankees’ young shortstop has flashes of offensive and defensive brilliance. He played all games so far and ongoing with .213, 14 HRs, .668 OPS, and 39 RBIs. Yankees legend Willie Randolph sees a big promise in Anthony Volpe as the future of the Yankees.

Randolph, a former Yankees second baseman, coach, and Mets manager shared his perspective on Anthony Volpe with Newsday outside the visiting dugout before the Yankees’ 7-3 loss to the Astros on Friday night. He mentioned that he sees mental toughness in the Yankees’ rookie shortstop and believed that was a crucial aspect to succeed.

Anthony Volpe is a survivor

The burden of expectations has not been reflected well in Anthony Volpe’s performance so far. After his batting average dropped to .186 by June 11, there were suggestions to demote him to the minor leagues. However, at that time the shortstop exhibited a brilliant return silencing his critics. He went on a hitting spree and stood out in many games as the Yankees were subject to an offensive meltdown.

At .212 BA, Anthony Volpe is not very good but immensely popular with fans. His offensive and defensive play helped the Yankees realize their long-cherished win over the Astros.

The Yankees legend emphasized the challenges of learning to play the game, especially when young, and the importance of making adjustments. He pointed out that although the game had changed since his time, still the current challenges would ultimately benefit Anthony Volpe. The experience of facing ups and downs will be valuable for him. According to him, if Anthony Volpe finishes the year on a strong note, it will confirm the positive impact of this experience.

The 69-year-old cited his personal experience to support his words. When he was a 21-year-old rookie playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1975, he had a tough start, batting only .164 in 30 games. However, the Yankees recognized his skills and traded for him before the 1976 season. Randolph showed great performance in his first two years with the team and even became an All-Star. He also won two World Series championships during his time with the Yankees.

Anthony Volpe shows all-round performance in the Yankees win 4-3 over the Astros on August 3, 2023, at Yankee Stadium.

Similarly, the Yankees gave Anthony Volpe a big challenge by making him their Opening Day shortstop, and there were moments when he struggled. However, he seems to be improving at the perfect moment, always wearing a confident smile on his face. And above all, the team backs him despite criticisms.

According to Randolph, he admires Anthony Volpe’s concentration and determination. He points out that the rookie possesses a sincere aspiration to excel and is committed to reaching that goal. The Yankees legend feels that young players’ resolve can be deduced from how they carry themselves, the inquiries they pose, and their approach to their tasks. He emphasizes that Anthony Volpe’s unwavering attitude sets him apart and plays a role in his accomplishments.

Randolph helping Anthony Volpe since spring training

Randolph, who has been guiding and advising Anthony Volpe since spring training, believes he knows the solution to today’s baseball problems. The ex-Yankee mentioned that his interactions with young players involved discussions about their game approach, their thoughts, decision-making processes, and reactions to different situations.

“That’s what I love about him — his focus,” said Randolph. “Because he wants to be the best. And you can tell just by the body language of a young player, and with the questions they ask you, how they work. He’s going to work. They all work. But to me, it’s here.”

Anthony Volpe hit a two-run homer against the Dodgers on June 5, 2023, to ensure victory for the Yankees in LA.

He made it clear that he wasn’t trying to take credit for Anthony Volpe’s development. He acknowledged his position outside the Yankees coaching staff. However, he emphasized that he approached his role as a spring training instructor seriously and wasn’t just there for casual interactions.

Randolph mentioned that he had come to Yankee Stadium to catch up with Astros manager Dusty Baker and Astros executive Reggie Jackson. Interestingly, Randolph’s former double-play partner from their successful days, Bucky Dent, also happened to be there and threw the first pitch on his own bobblehead night.

Anthony Volpe didn’t have a great game before him. He didn’t get any hits in his four attempts at-bat and struck out once. His batting average went down to .212. However, the legend still pins hopes on the rookie shortstop as the Yankees’ future.

This season might be remembered as the time when Anthony Volpe learned to be a professional baseball player, and there’s still a lot of potential for even better things in the future.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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One thought on “Anthony Volpe gets vote of confidence from Yankees’ 5-time WS champ

  1. I see Volpe as the Yankee 2nd baseman of the near future, and long term future. Keep him playing and learning. Yankees need a real shortstop preferably a contact switch hitter and a left fielder preferably a lefty bat with contact and 20-25 home run pop!! I don’t ask for a lot 🤪👍🏻💯

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