It has been quite a while since the New York Yankees can claim to have had a prospect with as much raw physical talent as Anthony Volpe. The former first-round pick has already proven himself to be a speed demon with pop in the minors, and fans can't wait to see him in the pros.
When the Yankees named Isiah Kiner-Falefa as the starting shortstop following that Josh Donaldson deal, it was done with an understanding that IKF was just a stand-in who would hold down the fort until either Volpe or Oswald Peraza was ready to take over.
Despite Peraza making the big leagues last year, it was Volpe who has surprised many around baseball by being named to the Yankees' Opening Day roster. While he hasn't officially been named the starting shortstop, all signs are pointing towards him getting that nod soon.
Anthony Volpe has made the New York Yankees.
Volpe hit just .249 in the minor leagues last season, but his value goes deeper than that raw figure. Not only did he provide quality defense while slugging 21 home runs, but he did so while also smacking 35 doubles and stealing 50 bases between Double-A Somerset and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Volpe was held in such high regard that the Yankees eschewed going after high-priced shortstops like Corey Seager and Carlos Correa in free agency with the expectation that Volpe would eventually come to the pros.
As for IKF and Peraza, both of them will likely have some role with the Yankees in 2023, albeit one with much less luster than what Volpe has coming to him. Kiner-Falefa has been trying to turn himself into a utility player, perhaps reading the writing on the wall.
While the Yankees have acquired top prospects in trades before (see Torres, Gleyber), it's been a minute since the Yankees drafted a player in the furst round, nurtured him well in the minor leagues, and turned him into a star. Volpe will be down that path if fourtune favors him.