Yankees rookie shortstop Anthony Volpe has dealt with some growing pains since becoming a big leaguer. Those growing pains have mostly come in the batter’s box. However, he’s found a groove within the last couple of weeks when other Yankee hitters are mostly still searching for answers.
What’s been the key? It all started when he invited some of his old minor-league teammates to his NJ home during an off day for chicken parm dinner. That’s a good reset for anyone who is in the midst of a slump. It also helps when one of your buddies finds some tweaks you could make.
The honors for that go to Austin Wells. He and Volpe were watching old footage and they “noticed some things”. Here’s what Volpe said at the time (quotes via New York Daily News):
Kind of a little stuff with my stance and how I set up to hit. It was so small, but we both kind of noticed it and started talking about it. I think we both took a lot away from it.
It’s obviously frustrating, but it’s nice to know that what I was doing when I wasn’t getting results wasn’t natural with what I always do. So kind of just getting back to where I’ve been and where I feel comfortable. Whatever happens from there, I’ll take it.
The below tweet provides a nice side-by-side look at the slight adjustment Volpe made by closing his front side a little more:
— Pete Simonetti (@SimonettiSource) June 14, 2023
The results since his adjustments have been eye-opening, too:
Anthony Volpe in 12 games since Austin Wells told him to adjust his batting stance over chicken parm dinner:
11-for-35 (.314), HR, 4 2B, 6 BB, .929 OPS pic.twitter.com/RT3eP2j7pn
— Talkin' Yanks (@TalkinYanks) June 28, 2023
And with a three-hit night on Tuesday against the Oakland Athletics, Volpe got himself off the interstate. His batting average is currently sitting at .203 on the year. He had been below the Mendoza line for the last month (May 27th, to be exact).
So, let this be a listen to any slumping hitters. If you’re looking for a way to bust out of a slump, invite some friends over and have chicken parm for dinner. Hopefully, Volpe is scheduling a team chicken parm dinner to get the rest of the offense out of its collective funk.