Anthony Volpe pursues new adjustments to recapture old MiLB magic touch

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John Allen
Monday February 26, 2024

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New York Yankees shortstop Anthony Volpe, coming off a successful rookie season in 2023, is entering spring training with a specific focus on refining his offensive approach.

While Anthony Volpe impressed with 21 home runs and a Gold Glove award in his debut year, the 22-year-old is looking to recapture the hitting style that fueled his rise through the minor leagues after being drafted by the Yankees in the first round of the 2019 draft.

This offseason, Anthony Volpe has been diligently working on adjustments to his hitting mechanics and approach, aiming to return to the form that earned him recognition as a top prospect. The Yankees will be closely monitoring his progress throughout spring training and the upcoming season.

One American League scout assigned to the Yankees’ organization noted that Anthony Volpe appeared to be a different player compared to his time in the minors. The scout remarked that his approach in the majors seemed questionable, as his hitting style had changed significantly. While in the minors, Anthony Volpe had demonstrated an ability to keep his barrel in the zone and hit the ball to all fields, showing proficiency in spraying hits to right field. However, upon reaching the majors, he appeared to focus more on pulling the ball, resulting in a lower batting average of .209.

Despite the impressive power display, Anthony Volpe’s 2023 season also saw him grapple with a high strikeout rate (167 in 541 at-bats) and a lower on-base percentage (.282). These aspects, rather than the home run total or defensive accolades, became the primary motivators for his offseason adjustments.

Anthony Volpe has been actively working on modifying his hitting mechanics and approach throughout the offseason. This effort aims to recapture the hitting style that propelled him through the minor leagues and return to a form that emphasizes consistent contact and on-base efficiency, complementing his power potential.

The Yankees will undoubtedly monitor his progress closely throughout spring training and the upcoming season as he strives to establish a more well-rounded offensive profile.

According to Anthony Volpe, his objective is to transform himself into the type of hitter he believes he is capable of and should be. He emphasized the importance of achieving a high batting average and minimizing strikeouts, highlighting that the best hitters in the game demonstrate these attributes. This sentiment was shared by Anthony Volpe, who occupied the leadoff spot in Saturday’s 22-10 win against the Tigers.

Anthony Volpe’s new hitting adjustments boost Yankees hopes

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Aaron Boone commented on the adjustments Anthony Volpe has made, stating that he feels Volpe has had a productive winter in that aspect. Boone mentioned that the rookie has focused on making his swing flatter within the strike zone, with the hope that it will increase his versatility within the strike zone as well.

Boone expressed optimism regarding the offseason adjustments made by shortstop Anthony Volpe, highlighting noticeable changes in his batting mechanics.

Boone, entering his seventh season at the helm, observed these alterations during Anthony Volpe’s batting practice sessions at the minor league complex in January, where numerous players, including Volpe, have been training since early January.

“The mechanical changes he’s implemented are clearly visible,” Boone remarked before Saturday’s game. He elaborated that he noticed these adjustments when he first saw Anthony Volpe hit during the winter.

Furthermore, Boone witnessed Anthony Volpe making consistent contact on three occasions during the Yankees‘ offensive outburst, which resulted in 15 hits. In his first at-bat, he recorded a ground-ball single through the middle, finishing the game 1-for-3 with two additional sharply hit groundouts directly at the infielders.

While the final results sheet may not reflect a complete statistical turnaround, Boone’s observations and Anthony Volpe’s in-game performance suggest a potential shift towards a more refined and contact-oriented approach at the plate, aligning with his offseason focus. The Yankees will undoubtedly continue to monitor his development throughout spring training and the season.

Boone commented that he believed Anthony Volpe had good at-bats throughout the day and remarked that he set the tone up there for the team.

Yankees star Anthony Volpe is training with a bat in January 2024.
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The Yankees manager opted to place shortstop Anthony Volpe in the leadoff spot for their spring training game on Saturday. This decision was primarily driven by the absence of many regular players on the roster for this specific exhibition match.

The Yankees have a busy schedule on Sunday with split-squad matchups, including a home game against the Blue Jays and another against the Phillies in Clearwater, where newly acquired pitcher Marcus Stroman will make his first start for the team. These games are expected to feature key players making their season debuts.

While Boone has publicly stated his preference for veteran DJ LeMahieu as the regular leadoff hitter, Anthony Volpe could potentially see himself batting lower in the order when the regular season commences. However, he remains a viable option to fill the leadoff role in games where LeMahieu is unavailable. His future as a regular leadoff hitter will ultimately depend on his continued development and performance throughout the season.

For Anthony Volpe, spring training serves as a valuable platform to demonstrate improvements at the plate compared to his rookie season. While statistics hold less weight during this exhibition period, showcasing consistent contact and a refined approach, reminiscent of his pre-rookie season form, is crucial for his overall development. The Yankees will undoubtedly monitor his progress closely as he strives to establish a more well-rounded offensive profile.

Anthony Volpe expressed his satisfaction with the adjustments, mentioning that he feels comfortable with them. He added that when he’s out on the field, he’s not preoccupied with any thoughts, allowing him to simply focus on playing, which he finds to be a pleasant feeling.

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