Anthony Volpe may have righted himself. The New York Yankees shortstop prospect had been struggling mightily offensively, but came up huge with two doubles last night.
The Yankees outlasted the New York Mets 7-6 and Volpe reportedly made a slight mechanical tweak in his batting stance before the game.
It paid immediate dividends, but it did not come from a very likely source. According to reports, minor league prospect Austin Wells, MLB's 96th and Yankees' number two prospect, helped Volpe fix his stance.
Yanks beat reporter Bryan Hoch said:
"Anthony Volpe found a mechanical tweak to his stance on Monday night, going over old game video with minor league teammate Austin Wells. They were having dinner with Volpe’s family in Watchung, N.J. Chicken Parmesan and spaghetti was served."
According to this, it was Austin Wells, a minor league catcher, who helped Volpe turn it around and not the MLB-level hitting coaches the Yankees employ. This is an unorthodox place to find mechanical help, but it may have worked.
Yankees fans are certainly pleased that the change paid off, but they're appalled that the hitting coaches couldn't see and have him make the same adjustments.
Volpe had seen his overall batting average dip into the .180 range. His wRC+ was in the 60s as well, showcasing just how bad he'd been offensively. After two doubles last night, his wRC+ rose to 71 and he could be trending upwards.
Anthony Volpe not going to the minors
Before he hit those two doubles and showed some promise, there was chatter that Anthony Volpe needed to go to the minor leagues. According to the New York Post, the team wasn't considering it.
Brian Cashman said this in March:
“He’s going to get a long shot. He knows, for better or for worse, we’re committed to letting him handle that position.”
Hal Steinbrenner said they had no conversations about moving him down:
“I’ve had zero conversations about that. I think defensively he’s been pretty solid. Pitchers have adjusted to him now. He’s going to have some adjustments to make himself. I don’t think any of this is out of the ordinary."
Perhaps those adjustments have already been made.