Anthony Volpe’s fix to swing issue that ‘league exposed’ already paying off for Yankees

Anthony Volpe’s fix to swing issue that ‘league exposed’ already paying off for Yankees

PHOENIX — Anthony Volpe was in rough shape Sunday, feeling the effects of the Yankees trip to Mexico City.

That was just about the only cause for concern regarding Volpe’s start to the season.

And when he got back in the lineup on Monday, he continued to mash.

Volpe’s first career four-hit game in the Yankees’ 5-2 win over the Diamondbacks at Chase Field was just the latest confirmation that the offseason work he did to refine his swing is paying off in a big way.



“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. “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.”

Anthony Volpe has only swung and missed twice through the Yankees' first three games.



Anthony Volpe has only swung and missed twice through the Yankees’ first three games.Charles Wenzelberg
Aaron Boone pointed out Monday night 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 consistently put together.

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

Volpe’s progress from last year goes beyond just batting 8-for-14 with three doubles, a home run and four walks across four games.


Through Monday night, Volpe had seen a whopping 87 pitches in 18 plate appearances.

He had swung and missed only three times.

“I think it’s definitely the swing adjustments he’s made,” Boone said. “Certainly the experience and his aptitude, baseball IQ. But swing-and-miss was an issue for him last year. As I’ve talked about since early in the spring, you can clearly see he’s worked hard to plug some holes that the league exposed a little bit at times last year.”


Anthony Volpe celebrates after scoring against the Astros.



Anthony Volpe celebrates after scoring against the Astros.Charles Wenzelberg
A swing-and-miss rate that miniscule (3.4 percent) is unlikely to remain so low for a full season.

But Volpe appears poised to, at the very least, cut down on the 12.5 percent swing-and-miss rate — which ranked 32nd among 134 qualified big leaguers — he posted during his rookie season, which played a part in him striking out 167 times in 159 games.

Volpe’s strikeout rate of 27.8 percent last year was also the 14th highest among qualified hitters, which was one of the factors in him having the second-lowest on-base percentage at .283.

The Yankees believe the soon-to-be 23-year-old Volpe is capable of being more of an on-base threat than he showed in his rookie season.

He has gotten off on the right foot in that regard, reaching base in 12 of his 18 plate appearances so far this season.

“He’s worked really hard, this offseason and this spring, to tighten up some of the things he wanted to tighten up,” said catcher Austin Wells, one of Volpe’s best friends. “It’s showing up right off the bat. Just his work ethic and what he’s able to do when he’s given time to make adjustments, I think it’s one of the best in the game.”

Asked why Volpe didn’t make the swing adjustment — including a flatter bath path, which should give him more margin for error on pitches in the strike zone — during the season last year, Boone said it was a “tough question,” indicating it wasn’t that simple.

“Some things you can make subtle adjustments within the season,” Boone said. “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. It’s certainly early, but what we’ve seen over the last month and a half suggests those changes are gonna be really fruitful.”

Anthony Volpe crosses the plate after hitting a home run during a Yankees win against the Astros.
Anthony Volpe crosses the plate after hitting a home run during a Yankees’ win against the Astros.USA TODAY Sports
While Volpe’s swing is in a good spot, his stomach issues were feeling a bit better Monday, if not all the way back.



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