From long shot to potential favorite: Yankees Anthony Volpe flipped the script

Anthony Volpe Yankees
Yankees top prospect Anthony Volpe.
Wikimedia Commons

Anthony Volpe’s run in spring training has been exactly what Yankees fans had been dreaming of since the hype machine started churning about New York’s top prospect. 

Now with just two weeks left in spring training, Volpe has not only lived up to the expectations placed on him, but has exceeded them. He was not in the lineup for Thursday’s Grapefruit League meeting with the Pittsburgh Pirates, but Volpe went 1-for-2 on Wednesday with an RBI and continued to be the main topic of discussion in the Yankees universe. 

If the Yankees have any idea where they are leaning on Volpe they haven’t tipped their hand other than Aaron Boone saying that he’s in the mix for the starting shortstop job. And when Hal Steinbrenner spoke with reporters this week, he wasn’t indicating one way or another about any outcome he was hoping to see. 

“He obviously is having a great spring,” Steinbrenner told reporters, according to MLB.com. “Anything’s possible. He has certainly showed, at least on this spring training stage, that he can handle it and play well and do a lot of different things. Look, we’re always concerned about our Minor League players: Are they truly ready? Because this is not New York, and this is not the regular season. So we’ll have to see. It’ll be a long discussion, which I’ll be a part of. We’ve still got two weeks to go.”

But Volpe has done just about everything the Yankees could have wanted him to do at this point and the biggest knock on him is his experience. Volpe has just 22 games of experience at the Triple-A level, which has given some pause to throwing him into the fire of the major leagues and the glaring spotlight that the Yankees play under. 

Through the spring Volpe has slashed .333/.459/.667 with six extra-base hits and his play in the field has been impressive. It’s been enough to put him in serious running for a starting job and has put himself in a position to possibly be a favorite to start at short.

But the path to shortstop is still a road littered with obstacles, many beyond Volpe’s control. The biggest issue is the logjam they have in the infield and the veterans they’d need to move, most notably Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Gleyber Torres as The Athletic’s Chris Kirschner noted in a series of Tweets. 

General manager Brian Cashman could still make some moves before the season to do away with the issue. Volpe could continue to play impressive baseball during the final few weeks of spring training and force the Yankees’ hand. 

Either way, the Yankees’ top prospect’s ability to match the hype around him has flipped the script around when he would be on the team’s major league roster.

For more on the Yankees, visit AMNY.com