Boone lauds Anthony Volpe’s intrinsic tools, innate ability to allay worries

Yankees' rookie shortstop Anthony Volpe wins the Gold Glove Award in his very first season in 2023.
Inna Zeyger
Thursday February 8, 2024

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Anthony Volpe had a whirlwind debut season with the New York Yankees. The young shortstop impressed with a 20-20 performance and earned a Gold Glove, placing his name alongside Derek Jeter in franchise history. Despite these achievements, there remains room for improvement.

As every new season presents opportunities for growth, Anthony Volpe, along with manager Aaron Boone, is already hard at work before the season commences. They recognize the need for adjustments to elevate Anthony Volpe’s potential to unmatched stardom. One area of focus is tightening up his strike zone discipline, which stands as a crucial starting point for refinement.

“I do feel like in his DNA is a guy that has a chance to really control the strike zone,” manager Aaron Boone said. “That’s an area where he’s got to improve, and I think will continue to improve. Hopefully we see those improvements this year, but I think when you look up years from now, he’s going to be a guy that gets on base and has that ability combined with some power and speed.”

Boone expects a big year from Anthony Volpe

Derek Jeter with Anthony Volpe at Yankee Stadium during the Yankees Old-Timers Day on September 09, 2023.
NYY

One year ago, stepping into the Yankees clubhouse, Anthony Volpe buzzed with excitement and a tinge of apprehension. He had just snagged the starting shortstop role but knew his toughest battles awaited. Now, seasoned after his Opening Day debut, Volpe sets his sights on a stellar sophomore season.

Last year, Anthony Volpe carved his name in history. He became the first Yankees rookie with a 20-homer, 20-steal season, joining Derek Jeter as the only shortstops in team history to win Gold Gloves. Yet, he acknowledges room for improvement.

His .209 batting average and .283 on-base percentage could strengthen the Yankees’ offense. He also targets reducing his strikeouts – 167 compared to just 88 in his 2022 Double-A stint.

The Yankees’ eventful offseason, marked by the arrival of Juan Soto and the return of familiar faces like Carlos Rodón and Alex Verdugo, fuels excitement for 2024. Anthony Volpe sees it as a chance to blossom.

Manager Aaron Boone highlights improving Anthony Volpe’s strike zone discipline as crucial. He believes his intelligence and talent will pave the way for adjustments. Tightening his approach and addressing vulnerabilities exploited by opponents top Volpe’s priority list.

Boone praised Anthony Volpe’s “makeup, intelligence and ability” claiming that “It’s just tightening up that strike zone discipline and then also being able to take away where teams found some holes and could exploit. That’s all part of being not just a young big leaguer, but [any] big leaguer. It’s a game of adjustments.”

The adjustments go beyond pitch selection. Understanding and capitalizing on Major League pitching tendencies are key to his development. Anthony Volpe, known for his work ethic and intelligence, embraces the challenge. While training in Tampa, he hones his strengths and weaknesses, drawing support from veteran teammates like Aaron Judge and Gleyber Torres.

According to Aaron Boone, Anthony Volpe’s development extends far beyond refining his pitch selection. Adapting to major league pitching patterns and learning to exploit them are pivotal for any young player’s growth. The wise manager explained that continuous skill adjustments are inherent not just to rookies, but to all big leaguers – Volpe will have to evolve his game over time.

Work ethic and baseball IQ are defining traits of the 22-year-old prospect. He’s not one to shy away from challenges. While training at the Yankees’ Tampa complex, Volpe has focused on “areas I excelled at inconsistently and aspects I struggled with.”

Anthony Volpe and the 2024 season

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Anthony Volpe isn’t shying away from pressure. Despite a strong rookie season defensively, his underwhelming batting left him wanting more. Now, the Yankees’ shortstop enters year two fueled by the hunger to prove himself offensively.

His plan? A rigorous training regimen focused on sharpening his hitting, even incorporating more bunting on manager Aaron Boone’s suggestion.

“Last year didn’t meet my expectations,” he told. “I know what level I need to reach, and I’m putting in the offseason work to get there. I learned a lot last year, and we’ve been putting in the work. It’s about refining my strengths and addressing areas that didn’t live up to my expectations.”

Yankees' Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo pour ice on Anthony Volpe, who hit the winning run against Baltimore at Yankee Stadium on May 24, 20223.

For a month now, Anthony Volpe has been grinding at the Yankees’ Tampa complex, honing his consistency with the full support of the organization. Joining him are fellow stars like Aaron Judge, and Oswaldo Cabrera, and newcomers Juan Soto, Marcus Stroman, and Alex Verdugo.

While acknowledging the “exciting” acquisitions, Anthony Volpe admits the trades were “bittersweet” due to losing teammates. Nevertheless, he sees “a fantastic opportunity for everyone” heading into 2024.

Year two marks a crucial moment for Anthony Volpe. He’s ready to refine his skills, and confident in his ability to rise to the challenge. The new season may bring its share of difficulties, but for him, it’s also a chance to solidify himself as a cornerstone player for the Bronx Bombers.

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