Anthony Volpe somehow still flying under the radar despite Yankees heater

New York Yankees v San Francisco Giants
New York Yankees v San Francisco Giants / Andy Kuno/San Francisco Giants/GettyImages

His hitting streak may be over, but his impressive sophomore campaign is not.

Even with his recent 21-game hitting streak, New York Yankees shortstop Anthony Volpe has managed to put together an under-the-radar season that has impacted the shape of the lineup and the Bombers’ postseason outlook.

“Just a continuing, evolving, outstanding player that’s hungry, had the ability to make adjustments and just on [base] a lot in front of some great, great hitters,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone told the New York Post of Volpe. “That’s crucial and been a driving force for our offense.”

Volpe fell one game shy of tying Joe DiMaggio for the longest hit streak in team history for someone 23 and younger. After hitting .209 last season, the New Jersey native has started 2024 with a .284 batting average and .792 OPS.

When one looks at the advanced stats, it’s evident that while Volpe is still growing, he’s adopting skills that help leadoff hitters. His K% has improved from last season, and he’s started to cut down on his pull%.

These skills are particularly noteworthy as it pertains to Volpe because, like most of New York’s lineup, he also has pop to his game. He cranked 21 home runs as a rookie and the adjustments he’s made could continue to alter how pitchers attack the lineup. Given the Gold Glover’s touch of power, it may not be wise to attack him, but with Juan Soto and Aaron Judge right behind him, the options are limited.

Anthony Volpe has gone under the radar atop the Yankees' lineup

“Just getting one hit in a baseball game is hard with the type of guys we’re facing,” Judge said of Volpe during the shortstop’s hitting streak. “But he’s the type of kid that he keeps his head down, he shows up, works. I don’t think he really cares about a hitting streak or not, he’s more focused on trying to touch first base so he can see Juan do his thing behind him. It’s been fun to watch.”

The last few times the Yankees have made the playoffs, situational hitting has been an issue. Volpe has a chance to change this dynamic if New York makes it to October.

His understanding of what a leadoff hitter should be able to do will help place Soto and Judge in advantageous situations where a simple fly ball or ground ball could produce a run. Additionally, if pitchers decide to pound the zone early knowing what’s around the corner, Volpe could make them pay in a number of ways. His clutch triple against the Giants this past weekend was a prime example of his ability to recognize the situation at hand.

“I think it would benefit anyone in that position,” Volpe recently said of hitting in front of Soto and Judge. “They’re the two best hitters in the world. The pitchers are definitely going to be thinking about them when I’m up, when DJ (LeMahieu) is up, probably when every single other hitter in the lineup is up. We just want to take advantage of it and get on base.”

There is a lot of baseball left to be played, but New York’s recent west coast swing has many wondering if the Yankees are the undisputed best in the sport. While it may be too early to say, Anthony Volpe will continuing building his All-Star campaign that deserves more recognition.