1. Anthony Volpe
The New York Yankees. Cannot trade. Anthony Volpe. Who was, prior to this season, thought of as their light-hitting first-round pick from 2019 who was selected partially to entice Jack Leiter, his high-school teammate, to sign in the later rounds.
Clearly, the Yanks’ scouts saw far more in Volpe than the masses did. Good for them! The masses don’t know anything.
Volpe wasn’t a decoy pick at all, and he wasn’t a Kyle Holder-esque defensive specialist who somehow ended up in the back of the first round. Instead, it seems the 20-year-old is a poised-beyond-his-years stud who hasn’t stopped making winning plays since the season began.
Between Low-A and High-A, Volpe has posted a ridiculous 1.040 OPS, slamming 19 homers, 28 doubles and five triples, complemented well with 27 stolen bases of his own. How is this real?
Very little was known about Volpe entering 2021, especially coming off an empty year. He couldn’t possibly have gotten better during the shutdown…could he have? Interestingly enough, a .270 season with some poise and pedigree displayed probably would’ve been a satisfying-enough campaign for our modest expectations.
Volpe would’ve found himself firmly behind Peraza, in that instance. A .300 average and .433 OBP in his first crack at full-season ball has changed the calculus, though, and there’s no chance he’s wearing a different uniform next season.
In fact, his performance, alongside Peraza’s, has made an Anthony Rizzo extension more likely than a Trevor Story signing. What a world.