Yankees haters will weep at ESPN's prospect ranking (and comparisons) for Anthony Volpe
Oh noooo!! Not anti-hater content! Please, don't do this to the loyal haters! Sadly, life as a New York Yankees fan simply has this content write itself and we have no choice. So now we'll have to rub one favorable prospect ranking in all the doubters' faces.
The discourse surrounding Yankees top prospect Anthony Volpe hasn't exactly been great this offseason. Some MLB executives had bizarre things to say about him and other esteemed publications (not MLB.com, though!) knocked him down a few notches in their highly-touted rankings.
All Yankees fans wanted to understand was "why?". On what planet does the first 20 home run/50 stolen base minor league season since Andruw Jones in 1995 work against you? In looking at Volpe's stats, if he was "dinged" by evaluators, the only real knocks were his strikeouts (118 in 132 games) and batting average (.249) ... yet it's common knowledge that up-and-coming prospects struggle at first sight of upper-level minors pitching and that batting average is no longer a stat held in the highest regard. So ... what's going on here?
Well, MLB Pipeline didn't really care about that. They ranked Volpe No. 5 on their top-100 prospects list. And you know who really didn't care?
Kiley McDaniel of ESPN (subscription required), who ranked Volpe No. 3 on his top-100 list. Oh, the guy who works closely with Jeff Passan? Love that!
ESPN's prospects rankings are good news for Yankees and Anthony Volpe, bad news for the haters
Volpe was only behind Orioles' Gunnar Henderson and Diamondbacks' Corbin Carroll, both of whom were ranked 65 on the 20-80 Future Value Scale. Volpe was a 60. But it gets better.
McDaniel's comps for Volpe? Blue Jays star Bo Bichette and Brewers star Willy Adames. How about that?! Two of the game's best shortstops? And in his opening line about Volpe, he acknowlged there's been "prospect fatigue" with the Yankees' No. 1 guy. No surprise, since everyone's sick of hearing anything Yankees related (even though they've been irrelevant for 13 years)!
Objective journalism won't shift the discourse among the haters, but it at least validates Yankees fans in some way.
All in all, the Yankees had five prospects in McDaniels' top 100: Volpe (3), Jasson Dominguez (28), Oswald Peraza (34), Austin Wells (58) and Trey Sweeney (88). Dominguez got noticeably bumped on a number of other rankings (probably, again, because of the fatigue), but not this one!
Apologies to all angered by this, but you'll have to wait for Volpe's/Dominguez's first slip-up in spring training to fuel your schadenfreude.