Boone dismisses doubts over Anthony Volpe’s power following swing changes

Anthony Volpe is at Yankee Stadium in 2023.
Sara Molnick
Friday March 8, 2024

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While Anthony Volpe impressed everyone with his 21 home runs during his rookie campaign, there were concerns about his swing mechanics.  

Specifically, Anthony Volpe’s swing tended to get too steep toward the end of the season. To improve his overall hitting consistency, the Yankees are working with Anthony Volpe to adopt a flatter swing this year. Manager Aaron Boone assures fans that this adjustment won’t come at the expense of Volpe’s power.

On Thursday before the Yankees hosted the Tigers at Steinbrenner Field, Boone stated that he didn’t believe Anthony Volpe would lose any power due to his flatter swing, emphasizing that his strength remains unchanged.

Revamped Anthony Volpe still packs punch per unfazed Yankee manager

Boone remarked that Anthony Volpe was generally proficient at hitting fastballs, particularly those thrown down in the zone last year. However, he expressed hope that adjusting his swing would improve his ability to handle such pitches and address areas that were previously exploited. Additionally, Boone noted that the adjustment could better position Anthony Volpe to capitalize on off-speed pitches that are mistakes, potentially resulting in extra-base hits or home runs.

Yankees star Anthony Volpe is training with a bat in January 2024.
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“Overall, he was a very good fastball hitter, just fastball down last year. But hopefully this puts him in a better position to handle that, be better in certain areas that got exposed. But then it also puts you in better position to handle the mistake off-speed pitch that shows up that a lot of times is a ball you can hit for an extra-base hit or out of the ballpark.”

Anthony Volpe’s rookie season was a tale of two approaches at the plate. While he flashed power with 21 home runs, his swing mechanics led to struggles against breaking pitches. This was reflected in the split: a solid .479 slugging percentage against fastballs contrasted with a lower .248 average against off-speed pitches.

To address this inconsistency, the 22-year-old worked on flattening his swing path during the offseason. This adjustment should improve his ability to track pitches within the strike zone, particularly breaking balls. Manager Aaron Boone is confident that this refined swing, coupled with a reduced tendency to chase pitches outside the zone, will lead to a more disciplined hitter at the plate.

Last year, Anthony Volpe’s .283 on-base percentage ranked among the second-lowest of qualified hitters (133). Boone believes that by making better contact and becoming more selective at the plate, Volpe can significantly improve upon this aspect of his game.

Boone expressed optimism regarding Anthony Volpe’s progress, noting that he was hoping for the adjustments made to contribute to better control of the strike zone. The manager pointed out the rookie’s consistent at-bats during spring training indicating a positive trend in his development.

Gerrit Cole continues at simulated session

gerrit-cole-new-york-yankees
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Gerrit Cole took another step toward the regular season on Thursday afternoon. The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner threw a simulated game in live batting practice, firing 47 pitches across three innings. This outing is part of his structured spring training program designed to prepare him for Opening Day.

Cole is expected to make three more starts in spring training games before taking the mound for his highly anticipated first regular-season appearance against his former team, the Houston Astros. This Opening Day matchup promises to be an exciting one, with Cole looking to build upon his Cy Young Award-caliber performance in 2023.

Cole mentioned that he is still taking things one day at a time and focusing on his recovery process. He expressed satisfaction with the progress, noting that it is moving in the desired direction and that his pitches are generally being located as intended. He emphasized the importance of continuing to progress.

While most of the projected bullpen members have seen action in Grapefruit League games, Jonathan Loaisiga remains the lone exception. This absence stems from a shoulder issue he battled at the end of last season. However, manager Aaron Boone has assured reporters that Loaisiga’s lack of game appearances isn’t a cause for concern. In fact, Loaisiga threw a successful two-inning live batting practice session on Wednesday, demonstrating his readiness for the upcoming season.

Tommy Kahnle, on the other hand, is the only projected bullpen piece who is truly lagging in his preparation due to his lingering shoulder problem.

Boone expressed confidence in Loaisiga’s readiness, stating that his preparation is up to par.

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