A seemingly obvious choice for a first-round pick in the 2019 MLB Draft for the New York Yankees was Jack Leiter. He is the son of former-Yankee pitcher Al Leiter, and he was one of the top high-school-pitching prospects. Instead, his desire to honor his commitment to Vanderbilt University led to the team drafting Anthony Volpe, his high-school teammate.
Anthony Volpe Bio
Volpe is shortstop that the Yankees drafted out of The Delbarton School in Morristown, NJ with the 30th pick of the draft. He is 18 years old, and he has yet to play past rookie ball. He weighs 180 pounds and stands at just below six feet tall.
Volpe bats and throws right handed, and MLB.com rates him as the Yankees ninth-best prospect. Given his youth and lack of experience, he is not expected to arrive in MLB until 2023.
Anthony Volpe has some strong tools in his prospect package. His hit, run, and field tools all have grades of 55/80, showing his above average skills in those areas. Additionally, his arm receives a score of 50/80. His worst tool is his power, grading out at 40/80, to bring his overall grade to 50/80.
His offense is fueled by an approach at the plate centered around getting on base, and his swing typically results in balls being driven to the gaps. Scouts consider Volpe to be more advanced than more teenagers are although he did see a strikeout rate of 25% last season. That is due, in part, to his developing mononucleosis during the season.
In spite of that, the Yankees still believe he can emerge as a solid player. As he gets further away from the illness and develops more strength, he should improve his contact and continue to develop as an on-base-first type of batter.
In the field and on the bases, Volpe has shown promise thus far in his limited time in the organization. His instincts allow him to play above what his tools may suggest in these areas even though they already rate very well. He specifically showed this on the base paths where he is a threat to steal as well as take an extra base.
As noted, Volpe dealt with a case of mononucleosis in 2019 so his numbers do not stand out. In a small sample of 34 games, he collected 121 at bats. True to his scouting report, the majority of his power comes from keeping the ball in the ballpark and taking extra bases. Volpe hit seven doubles and two triples compared to two home runs.
Also true to his report, Volpe was able to get on base at a respectable rate in 2019, despite the high strikeout totals. His 23 walks were almost as many as his 26 hits, contributing to a .349 on-base percentage. He also managed to steal six bases in seven attempts.
Anthony Volpe still has a long journey ahead of him before he dons the pinstripes. Obviously, the potential is there, as evident by his ninth-best ranking among Yankee prospects. 2020 will be a big year for Volpe to progress in his development and improve his contact so long as he can stay healthy. He is a prospect to follow over the next few seasons for Yankees fans.
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