aaron judge anthony volpe yankees
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Yankees rookie Anthony Volpe had a lot working against him if he was going to be the starting shortstop on Opening Day. His play spoke for itself, though. Before the news was official, Aaron Judge made sure to supply his endorsement of giving the 21-year-old a shot in the big leagues.

As it turns out, that’s not the only thing Judge and the Yankees have done to help Volpe get acclimated. Brendan Kuty of The Athletic shared a story about how Judge surprised Volpe by paying for suits he was about to buy for New York’s road trips.

That’s a great gesture Volpe will never forget. However, it’s just one of many things the Yankees have done for the rookie. Instead of hazing him as a tired rite of passage, they’re helping him plant some roots down in the Bronx. Here’s what else they’ve done, according to Kuty:

It’s all been a part of the not-so-planned plan from Yankees veterans to make the prospect feel at ease when he’s in the clubhouse in the Bronx. There was the PS5 video game console Judge bought for Volpe in spring training after hearing Volpe talking about a soccer game they both love. Yankees coaches have placed Volpe in the same hitting group as Judge and Giancarlo Stanton so Volpe can soak in their expertise — and the attention to detail in their pregame work. As Anthony Rizzo watches his teammates’ at-bats in the dugout, he often finds Volpe by his side. On Saturday night, Judge and center fielder Harrison Bader brought Volpe with them to Madison Square Garden to watch Game 3 of the Rangers’ first-round series against the Devils.

New York is already treating him as part of the family, and his play has ticked up after a slow start. While he’s slashing just .188/.317/.319 on the year, it’s been a much different story recently. Over his past 46 plate appearances, Volpe owns a .237/.370/.421 line with two home runs, four RBI, five runs scored, and five steals. In fact, he’s 8-for-8 in steal attempts so far this year.

Through April 11th, he owned a 33 wRC+ with a .444 OPS. Since April 12th, those numbers have increased to 130 and .791, respectively. So, yea — he’s settling in nicely.

And just like any good Captain would, Judge sees this type of thing as a long-term investment in Volpe’s development:

If he’s going to be the future and be the shortstop here for the next 15 years, you’ve got to have him up here now and just kind of getting used to it.

You can reach Matt Musico at matt.musico@xlmedia.com. You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.