It would've been nicer in a victory -- especially one that didn't feature an unexpected meltdown -- but New York Yankees rookie Anthony Volpe recorded his first MLB hit on Saturday. In fact, he notched a couple in a 2-for-4 afternoon with a run scored and a stolen base.
On Opening Day, the 21-year-old walked in his first Major League at-bat and then stole second base, but then went 0-for-2 after that. So far, so good for his introduction in the Bronx, though. Can't argue with the results thus far.
And how about drawing some parallels with Derek Jeter? That'll play for the next six years (at least) or so, considering Volpe grew up a Yankees/Jeter fan, and every shortstop that takes over for New York (until somebody supplants Jeter as the best in franchise history) will be compared to the five-time World Series champion in some way. Oh yeah, and they were both born in New Jersey. Not sure if you've heard that before.
This time, though, it's a good, healthy comp. Volpe's first hit with the Bombers came off Giants pitcher Alex Cobb. The rookie waited nicely on a breaking ball, stayed on top of it, and ripped it through the left side between shortstop and third base, right by defensive wiz Brandon Crawford.
Plenty more where that came from. The kid's a natural. This is part of the reason why he skipped the line, ditched Triple-A for the most part, and is now an integral piece of the 2023 Yankees.
Anthony Volpe, Derek Jeter have near-identical first career MLB hits for Yankees
OK, now back to the Jeter comp. In 1995, when Jeter made his MLB debut on the road against the Seattle Mariners during a series in late May, the Hall of Famer didn't record a hit in his first career game. He went 0-for-5 with a strikeout. Volpe had a much less demoralizing debut than that, but nonetheless, the two went hitless in their initial taste of action in The Show.
But in Jeter's second game a day later? He went 2-for-3 with a walk, and his first career hit was also a single through the left side, just under the third baseman's glove. Like Volpe's, it was a rip.
It's almost effortless when these two come up in conversation at this point. The mannerisms, the competitive nature, the similar playing style -- none of it is contrived. It feels very organic.
Next up for Volpe to help push this along? A patented backhand in the hole/jump-throw to first base. Or an absolute tank for his first career homer. Let's see what Sunday brings.