Minor league shortstop Anthony Volpe had a monstrous season in 2021 between low-and-high A ball, which saw him climb the ladder to the No. 1 spot on the Yankees’ Top 30 prospect list.
In 109 games, Volpe slugged 27 home runs, drove in 86 RBIs and slashed .294/.423/.604/.1027. He also stole 33 bases and drew 78 walks in 412 at-bats.
The Yankees recently promoted Kevin Reese to vice president of player development, who was asked by reporters on Wednesday about what Volpe must do next season in order to continue his progression towards the majors.
Reese kept it short and sweet.
“Just continuing on that path,” Reese said during a press conference.
According to Reese, Volpe will start the season in Somerset at the Double-A level, where the Yankees expect him to repeat the production that he endured last year.
“Continuing to work with our hitting staff, our defensive staff and hopefully making an impact in the big leagues soon,” Reese said.
The Yankees selected Volpe at No. 30 overall in the 2019 MLB Draft out of Delbarton School in Morristown, NJ. Volpe received a $2.74 million signing bonus from the Yankees as well.
Fortunately, Volpe will have the proper resources to help him adjust to the higher levels of the minor leagues as Reese said that the Yankees’ player development staff intends to assist in his preparation for Double-A.
“The pitchers get better,” Reese said. “The runners get faster in some places. The game speeds up a little bit. He’s been a guy that’s handled that all really well at a young age, and from the scouting department coming in, they all told us that was going to be the case and so far, so good.”
Volpe, 20, is ranked as the 22nd best prospect in the game by Baseball America, and No. 15 overall by MLB Pipeline.
Volpe dealt with mononucleosis during his rookie campaign in 2019 and saw his 2020 minor league season cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Luckily, the New Jersey native was able to bounce back last year and assert himself into the Yankees’ future plans as a result of his strong performance.
With Volpe in Somerset and fellow top prospect shortstop Oswald Peraza (ranked No. 3 in Yankees’ system) finishing the 2021 season in Scranton with the Triple-A team, the Yankees seem primed to add a stopgap player at this position in the majors this year until one of these options is ready to join them in the Bronx.
While Volpe might be another year away from making his big-league debut, Peraza, 21, hit 18 homers, drove in 58 RBIs and slashed .297/.356/.477/.833 with 38 stolen bases in 115 games in 2021 across three levels. If Peraza is not used as trade bait after the lockout ends, he is likely to beat Volpe to the majors and could get a call-up in 2022 if he replicates the success he had last year.
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