While the big league starts won’t start rolling into Hollywood until Monday, some of baseball’s future stars were already there over the weekend and that included Yankees prospect, Anthony Volpe.
The shortstop is the No. 8 prospect, according to MLB.com and the 21-year comes with quite the story. Having grown up in Morristown, N.J., Volpe was a Yankees fan as a kid and idolized Bomber legend Derek Jeter.
He even traveled to Jeter’s final MLB All-Star Game in 2014.
Eight years later, Volpe was in the spotlight during the MLB All-Star Futures Game on Saturday in Los Angeles. It was a brief taste of the majors before he makes an impact in Yankee pinstripes down the road.
“It’s a huge honor to be representing the Yankees — in everything we do — but just to be here with (Jasson Dominguez) and Ken (Waldichuk), it’s a super great honor,” Volpe told the New York Post.
While his season with the Somerset Patriots, New York’s Double-A affiliate, had gotten off to a slower start than some had predicted, he has picked things up more recently. Volpe has hit .306/.394/.556 since June, along with seven home runs and 20 RBIs.
Expectations are high for Volpe for him to be the next Jeter. In fact, Volpe was part of the reason the Yankees decided to bring in Isiah Kiner-Falefa via trade instead of chasing a big-name free agent at shortstop during the offseason.
During an interview in March Hal Steinbrenner told reporters that he was excited to give “two incredible” prospects a chance.
“That’s obviously great to hear from someone like that,” Volpe said. “But at the end of the day, I feel like I have a long way to go. This is obviously a great step in my career, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. Even when I hopefully get there one day, there’s still a lot more work to be done to be the player I want to be and hopefully win a lot of World Series.”
While there is plenty of excitement around the prospect, that also means that Volpe’s name could be the topic of trade fodder until the Aug. 2 deadline. The Yankees are going to be in the market to bolster their roster as they make the second-half push to the postseason.
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That is sure to include the pursuit of Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto, who just recently was made available on the trade market. The New York Mets are also expected to be in the Soto Sweepstakes, but the Bombers are in need of an outfielder to take the place of the struggling Joey Gallo.
For the caliber of player that Soto is, a high-level prospect would be needed in any sort of deal which brings us back to Volpe.