Revamped batting stance pays off for Anthony Volpe, Yankees continued trust in him

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Just hours following Hal Steinbrenner’s expression of confidence, Anthony Volpe showcased his ability to make the “winning plays” that his manager consistently emphasizes.

The struggling young shortstop made valuable contributions with two doubles, one earned and one attributed to a favorable scoring decision, and managed to drive in a run during the Yankees’ 7-6 victory over the Mets at Citi Field on Tuesday evening.

Perhaps the visit to his hometown in New Jersey during Monday’s off day and a subtle modification in Anthony Volpe’s batting stance played a role in his performance.

In addition, Anthony Volpe’s display of another commendable performance in the field reaffirmed Steinbrenner’s earlier statement that the Yankees had not discussed the possibility of sending the 22-year-old to Triple-A for a fresh start.

Anthony Volpe made batting-stance alterations

In his second plate appearance against Max Scherzer, Anthony Volpe delivered a sharply hit RBI double down the left-field line. This successful hit contributed to the Yankees’ impressive five-run rally in the fourth inning.

Following a visit to his hometown of Watchung, N.J. on Monday, Anthony Volpe had the opportunity to spend time with former Double-A Somerset teammates, including catching prospect Austin Wells. It was during this gathering that the tweak to his batting stance occurred, showcasing the potential impact of informal interactions and shared insights among players.

As they indulged in revisiting old game footage, particularly moments where they had hit consecutive home runs, Anthony Volpe and Wells discerned a subtle variation that caught their attention.

Anthony Volpe mentioned that he made slight adjustments to his stance and hip positioning, although the changes were subtle. Upon recognizing these nuances, he and Wells engaged in a discussion about it, acknowledging the impact it could have. According to the rookie shortstop, both players derived valuable insights from the observation.

Implementing the minor alteration, Anthony Volpe expressed that he experienced an improved sensation at the plate during Tuesday’s game. He mentioned feeling noticeably better as he went 2-for-4, with his final at-bat resulting in a fly-out that reached the warning track.

Anthony Volpe acknowledged that utilizing a closed stance has been his typical approach throughout his career. He expressed frustration with deviating from this stance and not achieving the desired results. However, he found reassurance in realizing that his previous adjustments were not aligned with his natural technique.

Anthony Volpe emphasized the importance of returning to his comfort zone and regaining his familiar stance. He expressed a willingness to accept whatever outcome may arise from that point forward.

Prior to Tuesday’s game, his batting average stood at .186 with a total of nine home runs and an OPS of .605 across 67 games.

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

Yankees Steinbrenner backed Volpe

Steinbrenner mentioned during the MLB owners’ meetings that he had conveyed to Anthony Volpe at the conclusion of spring training that he was the designated starting shortstop for the New York Yankees, emphasizing that it was not a temporary arrangement lasting only three weeks. Steinbrenner affirmed that despite any challenges or successes, Anthony Volpe would continue to hold that position.

Following Steinbrenner’s comments about Anthony Volpe needing to make adjustments, the young player swiftly responded by making changes to his batting stance during Tuesday night’s game. He adopted a slightly more closed stance at the plate, showcasing his adaptability and willingness to make the necessary tweaks to improve his performance.

Anthony Volpe expressed that he had not been aware of the remarks made by Steinbrenner, but he expressed gratitude for the sentiment. The rookie shortstop acknowledged that he needed to earn his place on the team everyday, regardless of any external comments or expectations. He emphasized that his approach and mindset remained the same, fully aware of his responsibilities and focused on performing his job.

Anthony Volpe expressed his desire to contribute to the team’s success in any way he could. He emphasized his willingness to do whatever it takes to help the team come out victorious.

Volpe was in need of a turnaround

Following a promising start in the major leagues, Anthony Volpe experienced a rise in his strikeout rate and a decline in his walk rate, prompting speculation about the possibility of him benefiting from a period of readjustment at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. This suggestion was further reinforced by the impressive performance of shortstop Oswald Peraza at that level.

However, the Yankees have confidence in Anthony Volpe’s ability to overcome the challenges he faces in the major leagues, viewing it as a valuable learning experience for his future development. His performance on Tuesday further validated their belief in his potential.

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.

Manager Aaron Boone expressed his confidence in Anthony Volpe’s potential, stating that the rookie had the ability to become an outstanding player in the game. Boone noted that they have already seen glimpses of Volpe’s talent throughout the year, and he expects the “cream to rise to the top” in due time.

Boone acknowledged that Anthony Volpe has faced challenges and experienced ups and downs, but he also highlighted the fact that the rookie had played a significant role in the team’s success. Despite the difficulties, Anthony Volpe has contributed to many victories, emphasizing his importance to the team’s overall performance.

Boone explained that when the decision was made to have Anthony Volpe as the starting player at the beginning of the season, the team was aware that it wouldn’t necessarily result in immediate success. They anticipated that there would be a mixture of positive and negative performances as part of Volpe’s development process.

Boone emphasized that in addition to Anthony Volpe’s on-field abilities, they also had confidence in his character and mental fortitude to handle the challenges and setbacks that are bound to occur in his journey.

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