Very few people in this world have the luxury of putting on the Yankees pinstripes and making their MLB debut in the Bronx with a historic organization.
Luckily for No. 1 prospects Anthony Volpe, he was able to live that dream for the first time on Thursday afternoon after winning the shortstop position battle outright over Oswald Peraza this spring.
Volpe had a dominant spring performance littered with quality bass running, elite at-bats, and confident defense. The Yankees made the easy choice, promoting the young stud immediately despite growing pains as a realistic expectation. However, in his very first at-bat in Yankee Stadium, he worked a six-pitch walk, getting on base and stealing second immediately after.
While Volpe wasn’t able to drive in a run, he still made an impact and showed his IQ on the bases, calling out San Francisco’s pick-off attempt and stealing second on the very next pitch. Defensively, he was as smooth as you’d hope, turning a few double plays and making an athletic throw to first base on a weekly hit ball to shortstop.
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The Yankees finally committed to their youth:
For Yankee fans, the sight of consistent defense and making routine plays look easy is an excellent sign of progress. Shortstop has been marred by inconsistencies the past few seasons, and Volpe is an obvious solution the Yankees couldn’t stop themselves from implementing.
Following the game, Volpe spoke to reporters, answering some of the easiest questions of his life, such as what his experience was like to play for his hometown team and the club he’s loved since he was a youngling.
Volpe said point blank his MLB debut was one of the best days of his life:
“It was probably the most fun day of my entire life.”
The team’s top prospect will remember this day for the rest of his life, but there is a grueling MLB season ahead, and the Yankees need him to be at the top of his game.
Luckily for Anthony, he can enjoy Friday with family, celebrating his incredible success before starting a grueling part of the schedule that sees the Yankees play 14 games in a 15-day sample. Of course, the entire season will be like this, but Volpe is no spring chicken. He is disciplined and prepared for the physical toll an MLB season can have on a player. At 21 years old, it’s safe to say he’s in the best shape of his life and hosts one of the best qualities a player could have: passion.