Yankees first-round draft pick Anthony Volpe called the opportunity to play for the team he grew up rooting for a dream come true.
"It was definitely surreal," Volpe told YES Network's Meredith Marakovits after signing with the Yankees on Monday. "I've dreamed about being a New York Yankee since I was little, and just for it all to come to fruition today, I still don't think it's hit me, but it's pretty awesome."
The Yankees drafted the 18-year-old Volpe, a shortstop for Delbarton Prep in New Jersey, 30th overall last Monday and signed him to a $2.74 million bonus, according to YES Network's Jack Curry, which is above his $2.37 million slot.
Volpe, a 5-foot-10, 185-pound infielder whom MLB.com ranked the No. 63 prospect in this year's draft class, toured Yankee Stadium before Monday's Subway Series game was rained out. He said he was able to see the clubhouse, the field and meet some players.
"They couldn't have been more kind to me, wishing me luck and telling me to get back up so I can help contribute one day," Volpe said.
Volpe finished his senior season with a .476 batting average, eight home runs, 35 RBIs, 37 runs scored, four doubles and six triples for Delbarton Prep, which won the North Jersey, Non-Public A championship.
"He is a quality player who has quality makeup," Yankees scouting director Damon Oppenheimer said, according to SNY's John Harper. "We have done a lot of work on him to feel comfortable about him."
Leading up to the draft, Volpe said he tried to ignore the outside speculation of which teams were interested in him so he could focus on his senior season.
"I knew stuff was going on around the outside," he said, "but I tried to block all that out and stay focused and try and win as many games as possible."
Volpe drew comparisons to Michael Young on MLB Network during the draft, yet some scouts differ at his ceiling. According to Harper, some scouts can project Volpe developing into an Alex Bregman-like impact player, while others don't see that potential.
"I'm not saying he won't make it to the big leagues. But I think he'll have to move to second base at some point (due to range and arm)," one scout told Harper. "He's got a long swing that could get exposed (against better pitching). And he runs OK but not great. I had him as more of a fourth-rounder."
"Congratulations, you're a New York Yankee."- NYYPlayerDev (@NYYPlayerDev) June 10, 2019
This afternoon, we officially signed 2019 first-round draft pick Anthony Volpe. pic.twitter.com/zZLr2mKG33
While Volpe's scouting report noted his "polished" defense, solid instincts in the field, "good bat speed" and ability to "drive the ball to the gaps on his pitch," he kept his own personal scouting report simple.
"I'm just a player that would do anything I possibly I can to help the team win," he said.
Instead of attending the draft in person in Seacaucus, New Jersey, Volpe watched the draft with his family, teammates and coaches at his house. He remembers getting dogpiled when his name was called, then how everyone jumped in the pool with their clothes on in celebration.
"It was a really good time, and I wouldn't have wanted it to happen any other way," Volpe said. "Just the feeling to have everyone there when I heard my name called was something I'll never forget."
While Volpe signed his contract, he said it was "pretty bittersweet" given he won't join his high school teammate, Jack Leiter, the son of former Yankees LHP Al Leiter, at Vanderbilt.
"He's going to great things with whatever he chooses to do," Volpe said. "It's going to be two short years and he's going to be hearing his name called a lot earlier. It is bittersweet, but I couldn't be more happy for everything he's accomplished."
The two of them grew closer over the past four years and both committed to Vanderbilt. But while Volpe turned pro, Jack Leiter will honor his commitment and play with the Commodores.
For Volpe, playing for his favorite team was something he couldn't turn down.
"It's always been my dream since I was little to one day play in the Bronx and wear the pinstripes," he said, "and with the opportunity that was presented, it was something I couldn't say no to."