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With the 30th pick in the 2019 MLB Draft, the Yankees selected SS Anthony Volpe out of The Delbarton School in New Jersey. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Volpe was a true dual threat with his reliable leather in the field and bat at the plate.
And with that selection, Volpe has quickly been put in the Yankees' Top 10 prospects list, coming in at No. 9 overall by MLB.com.
Contracting mono during his pro debut last season didn't help matters, as he needed to jump back into the mix despite not being at full strength. He hit only .215/.349/.355 in 34 games, but that hasn't discouraged the Yankees in the slightest.
Volpe projects to be a shortstop throughout his professional career, and with a 2023 ETA to the majors, he has ample time to develop and grow into his body.
Here's a look at the latest first-round choice by New York...
What scouts are saying
"More advanced than most teenagers at the plate, Volpe employs a compact right-handed swing and laces line drives from gap to gap. He struck out in 25 percent of his plate appearances during his debut, but he should make much more contact once he's healthy and gains more strength. He has some bat speed and could develop double-digit home run power, though he understands his focus is getting on base. ...Volpe's instincts help him play above his tools on the bases and in the field." - MLB Pipeline
"There are scouts who love his instincts on both sides of the ball, and he is a very polished high school player, but there's no plus tool here and maybe not an above-average one, depending how you rate his pure hitting skill." - Keith Law, The Athletic
"He's going to be a shortstop: the kid can hit, he can run, he's got plus actions, he's got really good hands, and he's got a shortstop's arm. He's got tools. He's been on the big stage with the USA national teams, so he's got performance, and with a deluxe makeup, the kid brings it every day." - Damon Oppenheimer, Yankees VP of Domestic Amateur Scouting.
What happens in 2020?
As we mentioned before, mono hurt Volpe last season. While he could have gone through some rookie ranks, he only played for the Pulaski Yankees in the Appalachian League (Advanced Rookie League).
If this season was normal, Volpe would likely be working to bounce back by starting in Low-A Charleston. But we all know this year won't be normal, as minor league baseball might be canceled outright. So it's currently too hard to tell what type of progression Volpe could go through this season.
Being his first full season as a pro, one would think he spends most of it in Charleston with the off-chance that a promotion to High-A Tampa could be in the cards, too.
What the future could hold
When scouts were analyzing Volpe, they didn't want to make the comparison to a certain Yankee shortstop who he grew up watching. But you can't help but think about Derek Jeter when you look at him.
Volpe's makeup, as Oppenheimer alluded to earlier, is what makes teams and scouts fall in love with him. He is a leader on and off the field, plays the game the right way, and just seems to have a knack for the big moment as evident by his Team USA resume. While he might not be extremely flashy in one aspect of the game, he is a quality player in all of them and his makeup pushes him over the top.
Of course, it's way too early and unfair to make that comparison to Jeter, but that could be his ceiling. While Oppenheimer does say that he will remain a shortstop, having Gleyber Torres on board might make Volpe switch over to second base depending on what happens over the next few years. Either way, you likely won't see Volpe complain about that.
First round pick Anthony Volpe hits a 2 run hr Delbarton 2-0 top first. Jason Hoops pic.twitter.com/f9u8C23kxF- Jt kroeger (@JkroegerJt) June 6, 2019