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Yankees Rookie’s Season Is On Track With This Legend

A behind-the-scenes look at Anthony Volpe’s rookie year shows he is close to following Derek Jeter’s footsteps.


Anthony Volpe has had some big shoes to fill in his rookie year. Not only was he expected to play SS for the most historic team in baseball, but he was hyped up to be the next coming of Derek Jeter. You know, the one they call “Mr. November” or, quite simply, “The Captain”? The kid hadn’t even taken a professional at-bat, and fans were holding him to the standard of Jeter’s five World Series and Hall of Fame career.

Those are some great expectations for anybody to have thrown on their shoulders, especially a 22-year-old kid. But Volpe accepted the challenge. He started chipping away at building his pinstripe legacy, and as the year wraps up, fans eagerly look over his stats to see how they compare to the Yankee great.

And wouldn’t you know it, it’s right on track with Jeter’s.

 The Numbers

Let’s take a moment to acknowledge Volpe’s rookie year is much better than people realize.

Among all MLB shortstops, he is 4th in DRS (12), 6th in home runs (21) and triples (4), 8th in stolen bases (24) and walks (50), and 10th in RBI (60).


t’s not only a good year for league standards, but it holds its own in Yankees history. He accomplished something that no Bronx Bomber ever had – He became the first Yankee rookie to put up at least 20 HR, 20 SB, and 20 2B in a year. A feat that greats like MantleDiMaggio, and even Jeter never achieved.


The Comparison

But how do the other numbers stack up to Jeter? The Captain was impressive in his rookie year, tallying a slash line of .314/.370/.430 with 104 runs and earning the AL ROY. On paper, this looks lightyears ahead of Volpe’s line of .208/.284/.387 and 61 runs, and there’s no denying that. But here’s the thing – they have nearly an identical WAR.

It’s true. According to Baseball Reference, Jeter had a 3.3 WAR rookie year, while Volpe currently sits at a 3.1 WAR.

For those that need to be made aware, WAR stands for Wins Above Replacement and is a stat that measures the amount of wins a player provides a team over the likes of a replacement-level athlete. In a game flooded by metrics and analytics, this is one of the stats people feel truly measures how successful a player has been on the field.

Throw in that the two share a similar percentage in fielding (Volpe’s .970 to Jeter’s .969), walks (Volpe at 8.8% compared to Jeter at 7.7%), and line drives (Volpe 25.6% and Jeter 26.1%) and you can see why comparisons have been made between the two in the past.


The Wrap Up

Jeter’s career was straight out of a fairy tale. His time in the Bronx was magical, from winning ROY and a World Series in his first full year to hitting a walk-off in Yankee Stadium for his final at-bat. Anyone who saw him play knew that he was a rarity, and they were watching something once-in-a-lifetime. So sure, the thought of someone living up to the Jeter legacy may seem far-fetched for many baseball fans…

But Volpe’s rookie year shows he’s off to a good start.


Main Photo Credits: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports


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