by: Victor Suarez
Anthony Volpe is a young baseball player who has just been named as a part of the opening day roster for the New York Yankees. He was born and raised in Watchung, New Jersey, 40 miles southwest of Yankee Stadium. As a child, he was a huge Yankees fan and fondly remembers attending the 2009 World Series Championship parade in Manhattan. Despite being just eight years old at the time, the experience left an indelible impression on him. Volpe has been playing baseball since he was four years old and was drafted by the Yankees with their first-round pick, 30th overall, in the 2019 draft. Before signing with the Yankees, he was committed to playing for Vanderbilt but was swayed by a bonus of more than $2.7 million.
Volpe is a shortstop and will be the youngest member of the Yankees’ opening day lineup since Derek Jeter in 1996, when Jeter was also 21 years old. He has never played in the majors, but he earned his spot on the opening day roster by hitting .314 with three homers, five steals, and a 1.064 on-base plus slugging percentage in the preseason. Despite his lack of experience at the highest level, he has already shown that he has the potential to be a dynamic player, hitting a home run off a slider on Friday and making a triple on Saturday.
Volpe is a competitor and a gamer, according to team captain Aaron Judge. Judge thinks that Volpe has the necessary intangibles to succeed in the big leagues, including his work ethic, his focus, and his passion for the game. He also acknowledges that playing in New York can be a challenge, especially for young players who are still learning the ropes. However, he believes that Volpe has what it takes to be successful, as long as he stays focused and keeps improving his game.
The Yankees have invested heavily in Volpe’s future, passing on a loaded free-agent shortstop market two off-seasons in a row to focus on developing their young talent. Volpe has thrived in the Yankees’ system, hitting 27 homers and stealing 33 bases at two Class A levels in 2021 and then hitting 21 homers and stealing 50 bases at the upper two levels last season. He is eager to prove himself at the highest level, and his teammates and coaches have high expectations for him. They hope that he will be able to help lead the team back to the World Series, just as Derek Jeter did in his rookie season.