The New York Yankees shortstop debate: Who should start?


Anthony Volpe | Wikimedia Commons

Joseph Bello

After another long season of Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s sub-par performance at shortstop for the New York Yankees, a change is needed. Enter Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza, both of whom are featured in’s Top 100 Prospects list for 2023.

Kiner-Falefa’s 2022 season featured a .261 average which looks good, but the OPS of .641 says a lot more about how his season went. Add on his below average defense, and it’s clear why Yankees fans want a change.

Volpe, the 21-year-old drafted in 2019 by the Yankees, has burst onto the scene as one of the top prospects in all of baseball. He is ranked fifth out of all prospects in MLB.

So far this spring training, Volpe has shined as one of the best Yankees. Through 47 at bats, he has a .277 average and an OPS of .967. He shone in the field as well, making all the simple plays and more.

Volpe has been featured batting in the leadoff spot for the Yanks, a spot in the order that bounced between a few players last season. Most frequently it was DJ LeMahieu, but other players had as well, including Gleyber Torres, Harrison Bader and Anthony Rizzo.

Across the past seven spring training games, as of March 24, Volpe has batted leadoff in three of them. LeMahieu has also batted in three and Peraza in one.

The weapon that helps Volpe in this competition for starting shortstop is his speed. In recent history, the Yankees have lacked heavily in that department. With a player like Volpe, the Yankees become faster and younger.

Peraza made his debut with the Yankees late last season. In 49 at bats, he had a .309 average and an OPS of .833, impressive stats for a 22 year-old. Peraza currently seems like the safe bet for the opening day starting shortstop.

The Venezuelan product hasn’t had the best spring training so far, only hitting .205 in 39 at bats. Yankees manager Aaron Boone even said in a recent interview that Peraza was “alright.”

Just “alright” isn’t going to cut it when dealing with something as big as being the shortstop of the New York Yankees.

The prized position has always been a big story since Derek Jeter made it as popular as he did. Since his retirement, it has been a big question of whom will be the next great Yankee shortstop.

Volpe is perfect for this role. His running, hitting and fielding ability make him the best candidate to take over as the Yankees shortstop.

It would be the first time a rookie started for the Yankees on opening day since Aaron Judge in 2017.