Are Yankees overloading Anthony Volpe with extra position changes?

2022 New York Yankees Archive
2022 New York Yankees Archive / New York Yankees/GettyImages

All the pressure of Yankees Universe is on Anthony Volpe's shoulders this spring training, his first go-round as an unofficial big-leaguer.

So why not heap some more on his plate and work him out at multiple positions, including a challenging spot he's very unlikely to occupy in 2023?

Volpe has said all the right things so far at his first big-league spring training, answering questions about competing for 2023 Yankees by using the Oswaldo Cabrera template. Wherever they want him, whenever they want him. It's all about helping the team win.

It's a great attitude to have, but ... Volpe's contributions will probably be limited to shortstop and second base, where he'll likely pair with Oswald Peraza for the foreseeable future, considering neither player has been moved in a blockbuster trade yet.

Apparently, according to Aaron Boone, you can also add third base to Volpe's theoretical pile. When does an emphasis on versatility become an overload for a young player still trying to get his bearings?

Anthony Volpe: Yankees shortstop, second baseman, third baseman of the future?

According to The Athletic's Brendan Kuty (and Boone):

"On Tuesday, manager Aaron Boone said that Volpe will also play 'a decent amount of second base' this spring, and that 'we’ll see down the road if we want to get him over to third.'"

Brendan Kuty, The Athletic

Wait, what?! Thought anyone who didn't see an offensive bounce back coming for Josh Donaldson was crazy?

Kidding, of course. If Volpe's used at third base as a big-league Yankee, it probably won't be this year, when DJ LeMahieu will be Donaldson's first caddy and the potential Opening Day starter at the position.

At least they haven't told Volpe to try left field yet, though they're probably only one Giancarlo Stanton soft tissue injury away from saying, "F*** it, ball out."

While the Yankees' top prospect eventually found his sea legs at Double-A to begin the 2022 season, there was an adjustment period unlike anything he experienced during his 2021 breakout. Volpe rebounded to post a remarkable 20 homer/50 steal season from the shortstop position (the first in the minors since Andruw Jones), but he hit just .197 in April and .207 in May before getting comfortable.

It's in the Yankees' best interest to avoid the same stumbling blocks in 2023, which they attempted to skirt by promoting Volpe to Triple-A at the end of 2022 for a short stretch. Hopefully, these positional changes don't contribute to a slow start in an all-important season that could end with big-league reps.