It’s difficult to do better than “best,” right, Yankees fans?
We haven’t seen a meteoric rise from a previously-unheralded prospect like Anthony Volpe’s in quite a while.
Though the New Jersey high school shortstop was a first-round pick, he wasn’t a very ballyhooed one, instead being viewed as a safe, glove-first selection at the tail end of the round.
Other perennial contenders tend to find gems from such a draft position, but the Yankees…not so much. We’ve all just accepted they’ll take a flawed wild card, with players like Noah Syndergaard, Michael Kopech, Jack Flaherty and, yes, Aaron Judge coming from the compensation round just behind their initial selection.
Though one season isn’t a be all, end all, Volpe may very well have bucked this trend.
That “one season” was deemed the most special in all of minor-league baseball by MLB Pipeline this week, as the 20-year-old took home the Hitting Prospect of the Year honors from the esteemed staff at MLB.com.
Could a Baseball America award be soon to follow, too?
Yankees star prospect Anthony Volpe has won Hitter of the Year at the minor-league level.
We’ve been staring at his unbelievable numbers all year — along with, let’s be honest, the unbelievable numbers of a lot of Yankees prospects — but even we thought that someone else would get this honor.
Adley Rutschman? Spencer Torkelson? Julio Rodriguez? Bobby Witt Jr.? A bigger name?
Nope. Volpe smashed down the wall, so he gets the nod.
The kid shortstop combined brilliant defense with — are you ready for this? — 27 homers, 86 RBI, a .294 average, a .423 OBP and a 1.027 OPS across Low-A and High-A. If only the season were longer, Volpe might’ve notched 30/30, too, as he finished with an amazing 33 steals (he was caught nine times).
Oh, and he has a bit of a Jeterian Flair for the Dramatic in him, too.
No notes on the bat flip. Zero notes whatsoever.
While Volpe won’t be fast-tracked to the Bronx — he’ll be ready when he’s ready — his emergence might change the team’s free agency calculus this offseason.
Maybe they’ll be in the Corey Seager market with the intention of shifting him to third, but does Brian Cashman really want to commit seven years to a shortstop with Volpe (and Oswald Peraza) on the horizon. Tough call to make. Glad we don’t have to make it. We’ll just admire the hardware and nod our heads at a pick the Yankees seem to have gotten very right.