Anthony Volpe can hit. Anthony Volpe can run. Anthony Volpe can do both of those things better than potentially any prospect since Andruw Jones, the last player before him to pile up a 20-homer/50-stolen base season in the minors.
In Wednesday's spring training showcase at home against the Washington Nationals, Volpe proved he also possesses the third piece of the Andruw Jones package: defensive acumen.
As the kid is wont to do, he displayed every trick in his personal book in the sixth inning against the Nats, a game where his bat didn't shine (0-2 with a whiff), but his glove made up for it (in an eventual walk-off win where every run counted).
With a one-run lead, no outs, a runner on first and a 2-0 count in the sixth, Volpe corralled a smash in the hole on a dive to his right, managing to successfully feed second for the force and nearly turn two.
Two batters later, with 2022 sensation Joey Meneses at the plate and runners at second and third, Volpe grabbed another grounder and, in one fluid motion, cut the runner heading to third base off at the pass. While the tying run scored (and was always going to score), Volpe erased the soon-to-be lead runner with a quick rundown, ending when the deked Meneses was also gunned down at second. Inning over, with Volpe's stamp all over it.
Yankees top prospect Anthony Volpe shows off 5 tools at spring training
Seems like a real shame this guy might eventually end up at second base ... or a tremendous bonus that closes up another potentially leaky hole in the Yankees' infield of the future.
Volpe's athleticism jumps off the page in every facet of his game, but it was especially helpful to receive a concrete example of his vaunted "heady" play on Wednesday, too. Too often, that part of a player's game can be anecdotal; executive after executive can laud Volpe's baseball IQ and "special" nature, but it's hard to believe it until you see a flash or a Flip Play.
While this was nothing more than a spring training showcase, what Volpe was able to put on tape showed Yankee fans more than just his slick glove, whetting our appetite for his time in the Bronx. That always seems to happen when he's given an opportunity.