What Does Volpe Attribute Early Success To?


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NEW YORK — Anthony Volpe can do no wrong. Yea sure, he was hugging the toilet bowl on Sunday. But that was because he had an upset stomach after a Spring Training trip to Mexico. On the field, the Yankees shortstop has look liked a different player in year two.

Even with the stomach bug running through him, Volpe delivered the kind of game the Yankees organization has expected of him since he emerged as a top prospect.

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“I just feel like I’m setting myself up to cover a lot of different pitches, different speeds, different locations,” Volpe said after going 4-for-4 with two doubles, two runs and an RBI on Monday night in Arizona. “I can kind of match up. I have confidence that where I’m landing and where I’m getting to is going to help me back up my approach.”

Aaron Boone pointed out that “results can be feeting, especially this time of the year,” but the Yankees have been encouraged by the quality of at-bats Volpe has put together.

“This is a different guy now,” Boone said.

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Volpe’s development goes beyond batting 8-for-14 with three doubles, a home run and four walks across four games.

Through Monday night, the 22-year-old had seen a whopping 87 pitches in 18 plate appearances. He had swung and missed only three times.

“His at-bats are just dangerous,” Yankees hitting coach James Rowson said. “They’re tough on opposing pitchers because he’s not giving you anything. He’s forcing you to make pitches for the entire at-bat which is difficult to do.”

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Last year, Volpe’s bat path was questioned by many members in the Yankees organization. It led to a 27.8 percent strikeout rate and a 28.1 percent whiff rate. But Volpe feels the work he’s done this offseason has set him up to cover more types of pitches, different speeds and locations.

The changes to Volpe’s approach were noticeable right away to Aaron Judge when he saw him a few months ago at the team’s spring training complex.

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“Dang, he’s gonna have a great year,” Judge told reporters back in January.  “Sometimes when you do some overhaul things, that can be really, really difficult within the season. But there’s no question, he committed this winter to making some changes.”

Yes, it’s early, but Volpe has passed all of the eye tests through the first five games of the season. Including a stamp of approval from Aaron Judge. Not a bad start.

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