After a spring to remember, Anthony Volpe has made the Yankees’ Opening Day roster.
It’s the culmination of a spring in which the Yankees’ top prospect has blown away just about anyone who has seen him play. On Saturday in Clearwater, Volpe nearly hit for the cycle and batted .314 with a 1.064 OPS in 17 spring training games this year.
The Athletic’s Brendan Kuty was the first to report Volpe had made the team.
The first signs that something was up came on Sunday afternoon when multiple reporters spotted Volpe taking an extended phone call after Sunday’s game, which he did not play in, He was later spotted hugging his parents and happily posing for photos with them.
The Yankees made the news official a short while later in a video posted to the team’s social media accounts. Manager Aaron Boone can be seen in the video sitting down in his office with Volpe along with general manager Brian Cashman.
“Difficult conversation to have to have because you came in and played your ass off,” Boone is heard saying. “We talked about at the start of this being a competition and you killed it. But at the end of day you’ve got 20-something games in Triple-A. There’s always room for development, but in the end, I think that development should happen in the big leagues. Welcome to New York.”
Boone added later: “You earned it.”
Welcome to The Show, AV! pic.twitter.com/Gq5VMRvqN0
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) March 26, 2023
Volpe has been the center of attention down in Florida all spring for the Yankees with fans clamoring for the Bombers’ top prospect to earn a spot on the major league roster. The New Jersey native and lifelong Yankees fan has been battling Oswaldo Peraza for the starting shortstop job all spring and it would appear that he has won out at being New York’s everyday shortstop.
Volpe’s play in the field has matched his strong numbers at the plate, which made it hard for the Yankees’ brass to not keep him with the club.
“As you know we entered camp with an open competition,” Cashman said in audio released by the Yankees. “The obvious explanation point here is that Anthony Volpe came into camp and took this position. He should be congratulated. It was well played. He’s earned the right to take that spot for the New York Yankees as we open the 2023 season and we’re excited for him, and excited for us.”
However, the one big knock on him had been his limited time in Triple-A. He only played 22 games last season there, but he slashed .249/.342/.460 with 21 homers and 50 stolen bases last season between Double-A and Triple-A.
Volpe had been peppered with questions all spring about whether he’d make the MLB roster or not, and he said on Friday that he felt confident coming into camp but that decision was out of his control.
“I’ve worked really really hard my whole life up until this point but especially this offseason, I really wanted to get to work,” Volpe said on Friday. “The work I was doing with the whole staff (this offseason), I feel really confident. It was seamless going into big league camp. Every day we were getting live (at-bats), so I was definitely feeling good coming in.”
Making the roster was just the first hill for Volpe to overcome, the next will be Succeeding at the major league level. The hype around Volpe has only grown this spring and the comparisons to another homegrown Yankee shortstop who went on to have a very successful career in pinstripes have already begun.
The Yankees seemed confident the stage wouldn’t be too big for him.
“I think when we take a step back and evaluate, he really checked every box that we could have had for him. And absolutely kicked the door in and earned this opportunity,” Boone said.