Not many expect New York Yankees top prospect Anthony Volpe to win the starting shortstop job, given his lack of experience at the AAA level. While faith and his ability to translate during spring training may be low, Volpe is ready to put on a clinic, working this off-season diligently to prepare for this opportunity.
The Morristown, New Jersey native has been waiting for this moment his entire life, refusing to back down and hosting an impeccable work ethic to get the job done. The very second general manager Brian Cashman opened up the opportunity to Volpe, who has a chance to knock off Oswald Peraza and veteran Isiah Kiner-Falefa, he got straight to work.
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The Yankees saw Anthony Volpe’s potential in 2022:
Last season, the 5′ 11″ shortstop enjoyed 110 games with the Somerset Patriots in AA and 22 games in Scranton with AAA. He started his season on a down note, hitting .197 with a .329 OBP across the first month. At best, his first two months were dismal, but it wasn’t until June that things began to take shape. He hit .298 with a .360 OBP in June, compounding that success to hit .296 with a .416 OBP in July. Over his 110 games sample size with Somerset, he hit .251 with a .348 OBP, 18 homers, 60 RBIs, and an impressive 44 stolen bases.
Once he joined AAA, Volpe took a step back, adjusting to a new talent level. While he did start his tenure with Scranton enjoying a six-game hitting streak, he struggled afterward to find his groove. Volpe is the type of player that needs experience and reps at any given level to adjust, and the game begins to slow down.
That is why transitioning him from AAA to the majors at some point this year makes the most sense, but Anthony is serious about his goals and isn’t backing down from a fight in spring training.
“He’s very serious about the things he wants to accomplish this year,” Lawson said in a phone interview. “He’s not uptight. He’s open to anything and everything with regards to being challenged.”Dillon Lawson said, via Brendan Kuty of The Athletic.
While Peraza seems to have a leg up on Volpe and IKF, he only played 18 games at the major league level last season. While his numbers look stout and his defensive qualities are exciting, Volpe has one of the best hit tools in the farm system, let alone any minor league team across the entire canvas.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see the young infielder rise to the occasion and put together incredible numbers this spring, making the decision even more difficult for manager Aaron Boone and his coaching staff.
Suppose he looks good enough to make the jump immediately. In that case, the Yankees shouldn’t hold him back, considering he represents the organization’s future, whether at shortstop or second base.