Anthony Volpe’s superb glove a pleasant revelation for the Yankees

Yankees' shortstop Anthony Volpe makes an excellent defensive display vs. the Tigers on Aug 28, 2023, in Detroit.

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The energy, athleticism, and proficiency that rookie shortstop Anthony Volpe brings to the Yankees’ defensive performance is a welcome revelation. This was on clear display on Monday against the Tigers at Comerica Park.

Anthony Volpe is a defensive ace

Entering Monday’s game, Anthony Volpe had already amassed a respectable 18 home runs, a notable achievement for a rookie standing at 5-9 and weighing 180 pounds. These figures weren’t entirely unexpected, given the 22-year-old’s history of showcasing impressive power. He managed to hit a combined 27 home runs during his time with Low-A Tampa and High-A Hudson Valley in 2021. Additionally, he recorded 21 home runs last season while playing for Double-A Somerset and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

However, Anthony Volpe’s defensive prowess in his inaugural season in the major leagues has caught the attention of several individuals within the Yankees organization, including manager Aaron Boone. This is particularly noteworthy considering his role as the team’s shortstop, a high-profile position in the franchise.

Anthony Volpe shows exceptional defensive display against the Royals on July 21, 2023, at Yankee Stadium.
NYY

Boone mentioned on Monday, before the Yankees began their four-game series against the Tigers, that Anthony Volpe is firmly positioned in the discussion for a Gold Glove award at shortstop. According to Boone, Volpe’s performance in this role has been exceptional. While Boone initially believed that the rookie could manage the responsibilities of playing shortstop, he expressed surprise at how adept he has become in this position at such an early stage. Boone further highlighted Anthony Volpe’s proficiency in handling the subtleties of the position and his proficiency in executing routine plays.

A long-term Yankees defensive asset despite committing errors

As of Monday, Anthony Volpe held the team’s highest error count at 12, though this statistic might not fully capture his defensive abilities, particularly considering the demanding nature of the shortstop position and the numerous opportunities for plays. Anthony Volpe’s defensive performance hasn’t always been without challenges. He has exhibited moments of hurried throws and, on occasion, opted for throws that might not have been the wisest choice when a more cautious approach could have been preferable. However, even scouts from opposing teams who think that second base could be a more suitable long-term position for Anthony Volpe have still been generally impressed with his overall defensive performance.

Anthony Volpe of the New Yor Yankees

According to an NL scout, it’s likely that his stronger position in the long run is second base, although he has managed to handle himself reasonably well at shortstop. The scout commented that Anthony Volpe’s performance at shortstop was sufficient to contribute positively to a team’s success in that position.

Boone noted that what has stood out to him the most was Anthony Volpe’s ability to play with speed and energy at the position, despite not having a strong arm. The Yankees manager is happy to see his exceptional range, which combined with his skillful footwork in adjusting angles, allows him to handle challenging plays effectively, even without relying heavily on arm strength.

Anthony Volpe’s arm might not be the prototypical powerhouse for a shortstop, yet it has demonstrated its adequacy.

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