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Yankees’ Anthony Volpe producing bright spots at plate again: ‘Trending a lot better’

Through his first 78 major league games, Anthony Volpe has shown a tendency to swing and miss — and a tendency to bounce back.

Seemingly whenever it feels as if he is lost, he finds himself again.

On Sunday, Volpe swung hard for a pair of strikeouts against Texas’ Nathan Eovaldi, which brought him to 11 punchouts in his past 24 plate appearances.

His 89 strikeouts entered MLB action Monday as the 13th most in the game.

But in Volpe’s third at-bat, he ignored any lingering frustration from his first two.

Facing reliever John King, Volpe swatted a 2-0 double to left that jump-started a three-run rally in the eighth inning.

“That’s who he is,” manager Aaron Boone said after the Yankees’ win. “Whatever’s going on, he’s got the right mindset. I think he walks up there with confidence.

“You got to be able to deal with whatever’s going on previously. Next play is most important, right?”

Anthony Volpe runs home for a score in the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers.

Volpe has dealt with slumps — his batting average is down to .195 — but generally has been more productive with a tweaked, more-closed-off stance.

Since a dinner at home in Watchung, N.J., in which he and friend (and top prospect) Austin Wells noticed he had been setting up more open in the batter’s box, the young shortstop’s numbers have improved.

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In the 11 games with the tweaked stance, Volpe has hit .258 and posted a .378 on-base percentage, his ability to walk compensating for a continued inability to make consistent contact.

He still has been striking out often, but the Yankees can live with that if the other results are solid.

New York Yankees shortstop Anthony Volpe hits a double against the Texas Rangers during the eighth inning.
New York Yankees shortstop Anthony Volpe hits a double against the Texas Rangers during the eighth inning.
USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

Oswald Peraza has been out of the Triple-A lineup for a week with an apparent injury, but has posted a .923 OPS in 34 games with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

The Yankees, though, have committed to Volpe.

“I feel like he’s been trending a lot better here the last week or 10 days with at-bat quality,” Boone said.

Michael King has been tweaking his mechanics — and trying not to focus on those mechanics — during a rough stretch in which the valuable righty had allowed six runs in his previous three innings.

Which is why Sunday’s one-inning save, in which King only allowed a single and struck out two, was so encouraging for the Yankees.

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“I thought even as his outing went along [Sunday], thought he got a little bit better,” Boone said. “Saw some life. Used a little bit of everything — used his sinker and his four-seamer, but I thought he did a good job of backdooring the two-seamer a couple of times. Mixing in his slider. Really big 3-2 changeup to [Marcus] Semien to start off the inning.”

Spencer Jones (the club’s No. 3 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline) and Clayton Beeter (13) will represent the Yankees at the All-Star Futures Game on July 8 in Seattle.

Jones, the Yankees’ first-round choice in 2022, has earned comparisons to Aaron Judge because he is a powerful, 6-foot-6 outfielder.

Through his first 60 games this season with High-A Hudson Valley, the 22-year-old posted an .823 OPS with 10 home runs and 18 steals.

Beeter, who came over from the Dodgers in the Joey Gallo trade, is a righty starter who recently earned a promotion to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after striking out 76 in 60 ²/₃ innings with Double-A Somerset, with whom he pitched to a 2.08 ERA.

The 24-year-old was a second-round pick of the Dodgers in 2020.

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