Yankees’ Anthony Volpe heating up, dominates his 21st birthday

Hudson Valley Renegade Anthony Volpe before Tuesday's game versus Jersey Shore on August 10, 2021.Hudson Valley Renegades Anthony Volpe
Hudson Valley Renegade Anthony Volpe before Tuesday's game versus Jersey Shore on August 10, 2021.Hudson Valley Renegades Anthony Volpe /

Happy 21st birthday celebrations were in order for Yankees top prospect Anthony Volpe on Thursday, as legally, he’s now allowed to drink the tears of his rivals.

Too much attention has been paid in the early weeks of the 2022 season to Volpe’s slow start in his first crack at Double-A, owing both to his massive explosion in 2021 and the unnecessary blame being placed upon him for being the “reason” Carlos Correa and Trevor Story aren’t in the Bronx.

Correa is hitting .200 with a 74 OPS+ and Trevor Story’s hard-hit averages are hanging out with Samuel L Jackson and Michael Rapaport in the Deep Blue Sea, for what it’s worth. You’d hate having either of them here right now. Hate it. Think about how angry you are at Joey Gallo. Double it, because you’d have actually had expectations for these guys.

But we digress. Volpe has turned the corner in recent weeks, whether you noticed it or not, and capped off his recent hot streak with one hell of a birthday game.

Volpe’s march back to relevance is far from finished; he’s only scratching the surface of where he should be, even after going 2-for-4 with a three-run triple and four RBIs in a birthday rout of the Portland Sea Dogs (Boston Red Sox, thank you very much).

Since his early iciness, though, he’s been much closer to the hitter we expected, and he’s doing it silently. Which might be better.

Yankees’ Anthony Volpe red hot over past few weeks, crushed his birthday.

In his past two contests, Volpe’s 4-for-7 with a double, triple, walk and five RBI. Expand that further (oh, you GOTTA) — let’s go to April 16 vs Erie? — and the budding star is 9-for-36 with two homers and has raised his average from .125 to .200.

Early-season fluctuations are natural, and Volpe hasn’t exactly ignited and run over the competition until the past two games. But while expectations were obviously high after 2021’s stunning breakout, Volpe was hitting just .239 after his first month last season before everything broke loose.

Patience. He’s a 20/21-year-old adjusting to an entirely new level of baseball. Just because Volpe might not be Wander Franco Ready, as one nonsensical viral tweet dinged him for this week, does not mean he isn’t on the right trajectory.

It’s uncomfortable to gaze down at minor-league stat lines and see repeated 0-fers littered with strikeouts. The urge to judge the first half of Volpe’s April was strong, especially after the Yankees positioned him alongside Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton whenever they could this March.

Things appear to be turning around, though, punctuated by a 21st birthday celebration with his New Jersey-based parents, his dog Jedi, and a bases-clearing triple ride with electricity.