Watch Yankees' Anthony Volpe make mockery of pitchout, mash baseballs in spring debut

New York Yankees Spring Training
New York Yankees Spring Training / New York Yankees/GettyImages

You can't judge a player based on one spring training game, but a star turn can certainly open your eyes. Anyone who watched the Yankees face off against the Blue Jays Sunday and didn't come away impressed with shortstop of the future Anthony Volpe must've blinked while New York batted.

For those who still doubt Volpe's top prospect pedigree -- and you're out there, alright, wearing your burgundy Bs and "intimidating" bird heads -- Sunday's showcase should've made it pretty obvious why the 2019 first-rounder is a consensus league-wide top-10 prospect.

Sunday against the Jays was Volpe's first big-league spring training game. Naturally, in a split-squad B lineup on the road, he led off (just ahead of Josh Donaldson), went 2-for-4, ripped a 105 MPH lineout in his first AB, hustled a liner to right into a double somehow, and stole two bags back-to-back.

The first stolen base was the most impressive, coming fairly effortlessly on a pitchout. Wasn't even close.

And, while spring training games don't matter whatsoever, it was still nice he gave Toronto the first taste of this in person, especially with Vlad Jr. shushing the invisible crowd after a meaningless homer in the other dugout.

Yankees top prospect Anthony Volpe steals two bases, rips two hits in 2023 spring training debut

Let's give Volpe credit for the hustle double, too. We all knew he was fast -- as Bryan Hoch pointed out, you don't steal 50 bags in the minors without having a little quickness to your name.

But when you actually watch Volpe, his speed pops off the screen in the little moments, too. There's nothing quite like the shock to the system when you watch someone line a ball into right, fairly routinely, then see the right fielder back up slightly and have trouble with the ball's arrival. Mere seconds later, as the ball reaches the infield, Volpe is already hanging out safely at second, with his hands firmly on the bag post-slide. It's the type of "wow" moment that transcends typical spring training drudgery.

And oh, by the way, that first hit came off former top prospect Nate Pearson, who tried to become the story of the day by elevating 101 MPH in his attempt to come back from injury issues in 2022. Volpe made sure to swipe some of the headlines, too. There was representation from the Jays' A Bullpen throughout the day, with Pearson, Tim Mayza and Jordan Romano getting run.

In the words of Vlad Jr.: "Shh."