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  • Writer's picturePaul Semendinger

Anthony Volpe - Cause for Concern?

By Paul Semendinger

October 6, 2023

***

The following came up in the comments earlier today and I felt this deserved its own article.

It's a short article, but, I think necessary for perspective...


In 2023, Anthony Volpe did not produce overall as a batter. He didn't. As fans, we wish he did. We wish he arrived. But he simply did not.


A .209 batting average is not good.


A .283 on-base percentage is not good.


He didn't (as so many say) get appreciatively better after the "chicken parm" situation. He hit only .200 in the season's second half. He batted just .163 in September/October.


Volpe's OPS+ for 2023 was 83.


In 159 games, Anthony Volpe struck out 167 times. He struck out in 27.8% of his at bats.


There is not a lot there to get excited about.


I wish he had had a good year with the bat. He didn't. These are just the facts. We can wish they were otherwise, but then we'd be just lying to ourselves.


We can hope that he improves greatly in 2024. But there is more, and I believe I am the first to ever report on or notice this trend...


Please see the following regarding Anthony Volpe's batting average every season since 2021 (he played in only in 34 games in 2019 and that was before he missed the 2020 season due to Covid. For the record, he batted only .215 in 2019.):


2021 - Tampa (A) - .302

2021 - Hudson Valley (A+) - .286

2022 - Somerset (AA) - .251

2022 - Scranton (AAA) - .236

2023 - New York (MLB) - .209


As Anthony Volpe has climbed the ladder through the system, there has been only one result regarding his batting average - each time he has moved up, his batting average has gone down.


This isn't advanced analytics. This is reality. This is how he has performed. I understand that there is more to hitting stats than just batting average, but I also believe that batting average matters. A .300 batting average still says, "This guy can hit" and a .209 average says he cannot hit very well.


Might that trend change? Sure. Volpe has never had multiple seasons at any level. His progression up the ladder has been too steady for that to occur. Maybe, as he plays multiple years at the big leagues, we'll see an improvement. Maybe.


On the other hand, there is little in this profile (thus far as a professional, at least) to indicate that Anthony Volpe can turn it around and be a more productive hitter. The reason for this is he has never done that. He has never done better as the talent around him has improved. This is a cause for concern. People can debate me on this, but I'm not wrong. It is a cause for concern.


Adding to this concern is the fact that the Yankees have a very poor track record with their hitting prospects. The only one who has had any long-term success since 2006, is Aaron Judge. The Yankees organization has not been able to demonstrate an ability to get the most out of their young talent. Again, that's just a fact.


All of this is concerning.


Heading into 2024, the Yankees seem to believe that the have the answer at shortstop and that answer is Anthony Volpe. They might be very wrong. They might be very very wrong. There is reason to believe that Anthony Volpe isn't the hitter the Yankees think he is and might be...


In order for Anthony Volpe to be a productive big league hitter, his performance has to go against the trend that he has established over the entirety of his professional career to date and he has to outperform all of the other prospects (not named Judge) that have come before him over almost 20-years. .


From my perspective, there is enough here to cause very real, very significant, concern.


***

A note to other baseball writers, podcasters, talkers, and the like - if you borrow or use any of these ideas, do the right thing and give credit where credit is due - to the author and this site.



19 Comments


Daniel Rolla
Daniel Rolla
Feb 04

You’re not that brilliant, dude. Check your ego. None of your Volpe “concern” is original, as it’s just the watered-down version of what my family, friends, and I discussed since last June.

Like

Gomer Pyle
Gomer Pyle
Oct 07, 2023

Excellent analysis. The dwindling batting average is quite telling. I am afraid that many Yankee fans are going to very disappointed with Volpe. Since the departure of Derek Jeter, the Yankees have not had a truly top of the line shortstop. Volpe, has a winsome personality, appears to be humble on camera, speaks well and judiciously, and demonstrates above average power for a shortstop. Sounds like a description of Derek Jeter doesn't it? Yankee fans may be victims of wishful thinking about Volpe. I think that Dr. Paul's brilliant observation of the steady decline of Volpe's batting average is indicative of his true talent level. At each stage of his career, as the quality of pitching improved, Volpe's batting …

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Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
Oct 07, 2023
Replying to

Alan,

Well, the interns should tell their bosses what they're reading and those bosses should tell their bosses and the big boss should also know.

He made a point last June (I believe) to say he doesn't read or listen to any of it - again a kick in the teeth to the fans.

He said, in other words, "I don't care what you think."

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Ray S
Ray S
Oct 06, 2023

hes a decent shortstop who makes to many errors on routine plays who thinks he's a slugger -maybe second base is where his future lies if that.

I'm looking at Arias and George Lombard not so far away

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etbkarate
Oct 07, 2023
Replying to

You'll have to point out the "many errors". The kid is a finalists for a gold glove.

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etbkarate
Oct 06, 2023

He was rushed this season. He needed at least 500 + AAA at bats. I still do not know what the big rush was? I am holding off my assessment of him until I see him next season.

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etbkarate
Oct 07, 2023
Replying to

Understood.

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cpogo0502
Oct 06, 2023

Paul: I am as concerned as you to see the declining batting statistics as Volpe moved up the difficulty-ladder. Volpe is 5'9" 175 lbs. and needs to stop approaching his ABs as if he were a power hitter. He can be successful if he changes his approach and starts thinking about hitting line drives up the middle and to the right side. He needs to stop chasing sliders low and away that every pitcher in the league now knows and has used against him. He will still hit homers when pitchers make a mistake and get too much of the plate but the BA, the on-base, the walks, and the OPS will increase while the strikeouts will decline. This …

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Alan B.
Alan B.
Oct 07, 2023
Replying to

Paul, my biggest issue is that despite the Lawson way nit working, and costing him his job, not a single hitting coach he brought into the system was then let go, including Yankees asst HC Casey Dykes. From what I understand, he still had a loud voice behind the scenes. To me, that is unacceptable. They had hired Brad Wilkerson in the off season to be another asst HC, so can you please tell me why Casey Dykes was kept around? My thinking it was for Cashman to make a move to appease the fans by letting Lawson go, but to really keep the analytical based coaching going. Cashman to me, doesn't want to really give up any power or…

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