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Yankees’ Anthony Volpe driven by his obsession for game

TAMPA — Going above and beyond in everything he does on the field — and Anthony Volpe became the only Yankees rookie to go 20-20 (20 home runs, 20 stolen bases) and the only Yankees to do so. He joined Derek Jeter as a shortstop. He brings an irresistible joy to the game. Perhaps that’s what the clubhouse needs after what Yankees general manager Brian Cashman aptly called the “disaster” of the season.

Volpe comes into the room every day with a big smile on his face. He loves what he does in a time when rudeness is all the rage. He would never say baseball is just a job.

Al Reiter, a friend of the Volpe family and former great pitcher for the Mets and Yankees, whose son Jack is also a former teammate at Delbarton School and a first-round pick, said he has never had such a happy encounter in this profession. I’m not sure there were any others.

“If Anthony could stay in the cage and bat 24 hours a day, he would be happy to do it,” Reiter said.

When that comment was brought to him, Volpe disagreed. In fact, he had a look on his face that suggested he was considering whether that was actually possible. He seems a little shy about his representation of being a particularly single-minded person, but there’s no denying that.

Eventually, he admitted, “I don’t want to do anything else.”


Yankees shortstop Anthony Volpe #11 runs on base after hitting a triple in the 6th inning against the Rays. Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

However, rumors that he doesn’t actually do anything else are flatly denied by him. He plays golf, but says not very often, and follows golf and soccer results (Manchester City and Tiger Woods are favorites).

But most of the time he’s a ball player and a driven player. He said last year was a frustrating year for both himself and the team. That may be true, but at just 22 years old, he has established himself as the Yankees’ starting shortstop, which, of course, has been a dream of his since he was 5 years old.

That’s when he happened to meet Jack Leiter for the first time in an Upper East Side park. Jack is on the hunt (that’s what they say in New York, sorry if you’re reading this elsewhere) and the baseball geniuses are heading their way. They took divergent paths, with Jack first attending the baseball powerhouse Vanderbilt. The young writer later became the Rangers’ second overall pick and spent last year in the Rangers’ high minors.

Volpe also sent a message to the team heading to Vandy, saying he would only consider changing his mind if he was selected for his dream team, and his grandfather’s dream team. Yes, of course the Yankees. The Yankees are grateful for that. After a brief stint in the minors, he became the beloved younger brother in a clubhouse full of established, high-priced stars.

“He’s a great teammate, a great individual, and he has great parents who raised him,” Aaron Judge said. “He’s the kind of guy you want to have in your corner every day. He’s dedicated to his craft and he’s dedicated to the people who walk in this building. He’s a great asset to us. I’m lucky.”

Yankees baseball runs in the Volpe family, and Volpe wore No. 7 throughout his youth, as it was his grandfather’s favorite Yankees number. So when the Yankees selected him 30th overall, there was no big question what he would do.

Even if he was dissatisfied with his rookie season, they were impressed with his combination of speed and power (only 16 major leaguers have ever posted a 20-20 season as a rookie) and the surprise gold He’s excited about his exceptional defense that earned him the Glove Award. Critics suggested that he might not have a good enough arm to be a shortstop, but he has more than enough, especially considering his other attributes: quickness, instincts, and, of course, a willingness to work around the clock. It has arms.

“He’s as dedicated as anyone I’ve ever known, played with or heard of,” Al Reiter said.

Yankees players marvel at his singular focus and talk about him as if he were the perfect young man. Fun fact: For men, they claim they’ve never had a drink. (For the record, Mr. Volpe admitted he was never drunk, but there are also unconvincing claims that he did have a celebratory drink on New Year’s Eve.)

Jose Trevino, who calls Volpe a “great, great kid,” is one of many who believe Volpe has never even had a drink (actually, everyone does), but says, “By the end of the year, I hope we can fix that,” he concluded.


Yankees shortstop Anthony Volpe #11 swings his bat in anticipation of a hit ball in the bottom of the first inning.
Yankees shortstop Anthony Volpe #11 swings his bat in anticipation of a hit ball in the bottom of the first inning. Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

His teammates have no interest in scoring points there, they just know he’s going to do whatever he can to improve himself as a ballplayer. they don’t have to think about it.

He probably wouldn’t get into a fight with a non-baseball player (me), but someone in the organization had him take an uppercut swing last year with the intention of hitting a home run, or at least trying to get a home run. He definitely disagreed with my hypothesis. To get the ball into the air.

Camp officials say they’re happy to see Volpe’s swing “flatter” this year because they believe he’s capable of much more than a .209 batting average. . Volpe himself just says, “He just wants to be in the ball’s path,” and that’s simple enough for me to understand.

Overall, Volpe said of the past year: But I wouldn’t trade those feelings or the fire they lit beneath me for anything. ”

The guess here is that there was no need to actually ignite his fire.

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