Since the beginning of June, Yankees top prospect Anthony Volpe has shrugged off a slow start in spectacular fashion, becoming one of Double-A’s hottest hitters and youngest competitors concurrently. Freshly 21, Volpe triple-slashed .298/.360/.538 in June and .333/.463/.545 through play on July 12 to vault himself back into consideration for a mid-2023 promotion.
One run below him, though, fellow 21-year-old shortstop prospect and 2021 first-round pick Trey Sweeney was struggling to find his footing in High-A Hudson Valley. Drafted for his booming bat rather than his defensive acumen, Sweeney wrapped April hitting .231 with three homers, but clattered to the turf in May, batting .167 for the month with a single blast while dropping his season triple-slash to .187/.273/.341.
Much like Volpe, though, the Sweeney we were promised showed up in June, though his ascent was a bit quieter. Everything he does is a bit quieter. After all, he’s the guy behind Volpe and Oswald Peraza in the pecking order and on the way up the ladder. But a .270/.363/.472 month with four homers is nothing to sneeze at, especially when it crescendoes into a thunderous start to July.
All of a sudden, Sweeney is slashing .366/.435/.610 through play on July 12, capped by a 4-for-4 showcase with a stolen base on Tuesday night. No blasts, no pomp, no circumstance. Just line drive after line drive to carry his team to victory.
Happy might’ve learned to putt — or, rather, adjusted to his age level and gotten his sea legs under him once again.
Yankees top prospects Trey Sweeney, Anthony Volpe heat up
And, just in time, Sweeney’s running mate Everson Pereira was promoted to Double-A Somerset, leaving room for … you know who … to create a pretty special pairing in Hudson Valley.
As Sweeney prepares to embrace the Martian, it’s clear his game has kicked into high gear — also joining fellow first-round pick Anthony Seigler (2018), who’s now up to .274 with a remarkable .444 OBP and .897 OPS at the level. That would make four consecutive first-rounders (Seigler, Volpe, Austin Wells, Sweeney) on the up-and-up for the first time in a long time for the Bombers — and don’t forget supplemental first-rounder T.J. Sikkema, who’s also dominating in his first extended action on the mound since 2019, and could wind up as excellent trade bait.
Volpe, of course, responded to Sweeney’s overtures with a three-hit game of his own, notching a pair of doubles on Tuesday to push his average above .250.
The more star shortstops in the system the better, considering the Yankees opted for the textbook definition of a stopgap in 2022.
Sweeney’s future, while it may not be on the left side of the infield, looks as bright as ever at the moment, and with Volpe and Peraza also occupying heating pads ahead of them, competition could be fierce in the seasons to come.