Anthony Volpe, the New York Yankees‘ top prospect according to just about any publication, had an inauspicious start of the 2022 minor league season. Through May 15 (a little less than a month and a half of baseball), he was slashing a putrid .165/.286/.321 with a .607 OPS, struggling to adapt to Double-A pitching after acing both Low-A (1.078 OPS) and High-A (.977 OPS) last season.
People started doubting his 2021 performance after seeing him struggle so much to open the year against high-minors pitching. But the Yankees refused to bring in a star shortstop via free agency because they knew all along that Volpe was a special player. They had the patience to let him slump and work himself out of his funk eventually. And he did just that.
Volpe is repaying the Yankees’ faith with a stellar June that has seen him return to prominence. Since the calendar turned to June, the star shortstop prospect is hitting .294/.351/.485 with a .837 OPS. That’s more indicative of his immense talent.
Volpe has the Yankees excited about the future
Volpe has seven doubles and two home runs this month so far, together with six stolen bases. He is back to hitting the ball hard frequently, and looks like one of Double-A’s best players already.
For the year, the Yankees’ shortstop of the future already has a 102 wRC+, which means he is now an above-average offensive performer after his rough start. He is hitting .231/.323/.407 with seven home runs, 38 runs, 32 RBI, and an incredible 24 stolen bases. All of those numbers are on the rise, too.
If he keeps dominating at this pace, it’s not out of the question that he finishes the season in Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre. Logic indicates that unless he forces a promotion this year, which seems unlikely but not impossible, he could be ready to take over as the Yankees’ shortstop at some point next year. The Yanks are not going to rush him, but organizational optimism surrounding his career prospects is really high at the moment.