Anthony Volpe Makes Yankees Opening Day Roster
The Yankees have informed shortstop Anthony Volpe, the team's No. 1 prospect and the No. 14 prospect in the game, that he will make the team's Opening Day roster. Volpe is hitting .314/.417/.647 this spring with six doubles, a triple, three home runs and five steals in five tries.
Here's the moment where Volpe found out the news.
And here's what he had to say afterwards.
The Yankees have tried Didi Gregorius, Gleyber Torres and Isiah Kiner-Falefa at shortstop since Derek Jeter retired at the end of the 2014 season. Between Volpe and Oswald Peraza, the Yankees hope they have a long-term homegrown middle infield for years to come.
Here's what we wrote about Volpe when we ranked him as the Yankees' No. 1 prospect during the offseason.
BA Grade/Risk: 65/High
Track Record: Volpe had a standout senior season in 2019 at Delbarton High, the New Jersey program where he was teammates with fellow future first-rounder Jack Leiter. The Yankees believed enough in both Volpe's performance and makeup that they spent their first-round pick and a bonus of $2,740,300 to keep him from a commitment to Vanderbilt. His pro debut was hampered by a case of mononucleosis that muted his performance at Rookie-level Pulaski. Then the pandemic happened, and Volpe spent the season working remotely to up his game. When he re-emerged in 2021, he looked like a player with the potential to be the team's shortstop of the future. When the Yankees passed on signing free agents Carlos Correa or Trevor Story following the 2021 season, those thoughts were reinforced. Now, it was on Volpe to produce an encore. After a winter of training that included a stop at Wake Forest's pitching lab to help strengthen his throwing arm, Volpe got his first upper-level test when he was assigned to Double-A Somerset. Volpe stumbled out of the blocks in April but turned it on thereafter. From May 1 until the close of the season, the 21-year-old hit .268/.356/.493 in a tenure split between Double-A and Triple-A. He closed the first half of the season with a walk-off home run that sent Somerset to the Eastern League playoffs, where they would eventually win the championship.
Scouting Report: Volpe is the purest hitter in the Yankees' system, a title he comes by through an extremely mature approach that allows him to pick through pitches he doesn't want until he gets something he can impact. Then he unleashes a powerful yet compact swing that produces hard line drives thanks to a swing path that keeps the barrel in the zone for a long time. Scouts noticed a few early tweaks that might have gotten him a little off-kilter in the early going. Notably, they saw a bigger stride and a higher hand-set than in years past. The former was causing unwanted head movement and the latter upset his timing and was causing him to work around pitches instead of through them. Once Volpe corrected those issues, he started looking like the 2021 version of himself. Multiple scouts brought up a weakness against spin from righthanders, which is among the final holes he'll have to close before he's ready to take over in the Bronx. Scouts are split about whether Volpe can remain at shortstop. Nobody believes he will be an elite defender at the position, but there are some who think he can be average and that his lack of standout arm strength can be mitigated by excellent instincts and a quick release. He has quick feet but his range at shortstop is average at best. He's an above-average runner whose strong instincts helped him swipe 50 bases.
The Future: Volpe might return to Triple-A to begin 2023, but it's clear the Yankees view him as part of their long-term future. Whether that's at shortstop or elsewhere on the infield is the biggest remaining question.
Scouting Grades: Hitting: 60. Power: 60. Speed: 55. Fielding: 50. Arm: 45.