In case you haven’t kept up with the narrative swings, this winter/spring/summer went from:
- “The Yankees can’t let Anthony Volpe/Oswald Peraza prevent them from signing Carlos Correa” to
- “OK, the Yankees did exactly that, now what?” to
- “Volpe and Peraza look awful, but at least the Yankees are winning” to
- “The Yankees are winning SO much we haven’t thought about alternate universes in at least two months” to
- “Oh, wait, Volpe’s kind of crushing it now”
Objectively, that’s a better place to be than being left worrying about the Bombers’ future once Isiah Kiner-Falefa stops being “clutch” and starts being a below-average offensive player/future utility man without a baked-in replacement.
Despite the massive expectations heaped upon his shoulders entering 2022, Volpe should’ve been expected to struggle a bit while adjusting to Double-A. He didn’t turn 21 years old until nearly a month into the regular season. He dominated the offseason circuit in stark contrast to 2020-21, when he was largely “unknown” for a first-round pick. Even his 2021 season started with a comparatively slow May (.239/.372/.424) before things really picked up.
If you wrote Volpe off in a fit of frustration after his April 2022 Double-A debut (.197/.329/.364), that’s understandable. Everyone acts unreasonably sometimes. You’d be missing out on a whole lot of fun now, though, because starting in mid-May, the kid began to find traction.
Once the calendar turned to June, he turned things up several notches. Now, his numbers are beginning to look respectable, matching the eye test.
Yankees shortstop prospect Anthony Volpe is on fire in June
Even when Volpe was scuffling, he was changing the game, swiping 18 bags in 20 attempts through the month of May. When he got on base, he typically used it as a showcase for his other particular set of skills, even if his potent bat was still working to catch up.
But now? Though Volpe’s breakout came a few weeks after Jasson Dominguez turned his personal corner, the shortstop has now raised his season averages past the point where he’ll likely be considered for a Futures Game spot — and he’ll have earned it.
After all, how many kid shortstops combine elite speed (now up to 25 stolen bags) with above-average defense and legitimate laser pop? And he’s only getting stronger.
And the best part of it all? The Yankees are thriving in 2022 without him. Take your time.
Volpe needed a bit of Double-A time to get his feet wet, and might need a few more months than expected in 2023, too, when he’ll still be opening the season at 21. As long as he continues to follow the same development pattern, the big-league club will still be able to get by, and will welcome Volpe’s arrival at the age of either 22 or 23. Both are acceptably young ages!
Now, to see just how high Volpe’s able to set that season-high hit mark before attempting to top it in July and August.
Everything’s much more fun when he’s rolling like this.