In the last two offseasons, several top shortstops have become available via free agency. Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, Javier Baez, Dansby Swanson, Xander Bogaerts, Trea Turner, and others could have joined the New York Yankees had the franchise seriously pursued them. But they opted to fill other needs.
So far, they have been reluctant to hand a long-term contract to a shortstop because they feel they have the perfect in-house solution for the position: Anthony Volpe.
According to what the Yankees’ Vice President of Player Development Kevin Reese said on the YES Network last week at the Winter Meetings in San Diego, Volpe could be up “any day.”
Volpe is universally considered a top-ten prospect in baseball. He started off the year in Double-A, where he excelled after a sluggish start: he hit .251/.348/.472 with 18 home runs and 44 stolen bases in 497 plate appearances. His 122 wRC+ indicates well-above-average performance.
He then earned a promotion to the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, where he had a 91 wRC+ in 22 games.
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The Yankees love what Volpe has to offer
Volpe showed this year that he has the ability to make adjustments on the go, which is an incredibly useful trait to have.
According to NJ Advance Media, Volpe has already reported to the Yankees’ player development complex in Tampa. He is reportedly getting ready to compete for the starting shortstop position with fellow prospect Oswald Peraza and Isiah Kiner-Falefa.
Reese praised Volpe and said he is knocking on the door.
“Depending on who you ask, he’s ready yesterday, he’s ready tomorrow,” Reese said. “He’s a great kid who is always looking to help the team any way he can and he’s ready. I think it’s a combination of general skills and ability on the field, but also a calmness that you don’t see from young players very often. Like Peraza, he’s stolen a ton of bases, he’s hit for power, he fits in with whatever group it is — players from different backgrounds, even pitchers, who position players don’t like hanging out with too much. He hits in really well and I think he’ll fit in on the big-league club when the time comes.”
Even if Volpe doesn’t win the competition for the job in spring training, he figures to be a big factor for the Yankees in 2023 and beyond.