Anthony Volpe Named MLB Pipeline Hitting Prospect of the Year!
Yesterday, the New York Yankees breakout star prospect Anthony Volpe was named the MLB Pipeline Hitting Prospect of the Year.
This comes in his first full season of minor league ball, after a year away from the field due to COVID-19, and across the Tampa Tarpons (Single-A) and Hudson Valley Renegades (Single-A+).
I Just Want to Say I Called It:
When I was looking at the 2019 MLB Draft class, one name that continued to be mocked near the Yankees was a shortstop out of Delbarton High School (Morristown, NJ). In watching some 480p (and lower) quality videos of his abilities and high school highlights on YouTube, reading scouting reports I could find, and generally understanding how these things work out (everyone loves a good story about the hometown kid), I was very much hoping on the Yankees drafting him. Everything fell perfectly into place for him to become a star.
To be fair this shortstop wasn’t the first player I was hoping for from that school. I was also very much on the Yankees drafting his teammate, a right-handed pitcher. And while he did get drafted by the Yankees, it happened in the 20th round and instead he went to Vanderbilt. (Oh, what could have been!)
That pitcher is Jack Leiter. He was drafted 2nd overall this year by the Texas Rangers.
That shortstop is Anthony Volpe. I’ve been touting his name, highly, since before he became a Yankee.
In my pre-2020 season evaluation of the MLB.com Top-30 prospects, I talked about Volpe (ranked #9) and said the following:
“With great overall tools for both sides of the game at bat and in the field, Volpe is a very promising prospect to bet on. Expected to start the season with the Charleston RiverDogs, the 18 year-old is already showing why he was worthy of a first round pick.”
After just 34 games (with stats hindered due to Volpe getting mononucleosis), I was comfortable stating that Volpe had proven his being worthy of a first round pick.
Not even a month later, I ranked Volpe as my #7 prospect in the Yankees system. The highest amongst all of our writers.
And, before the 2021 season, Volpe was ranked #11 in a competitive farm system. In my yearly evaluation of the MLB.com Top-30 prospects, I said this:
“…Volpe is a complete offensive player. Combined with high baseball IQ across the board, solid defense, and plus speed, I see him as an underrated prospect in the system.”
A #11 ranked prospect being underrated.
I just want it known that I was first to say this.
Casting My Ego Aside, Volpe Had an Amazing Season:
Okay, now that I finally had a chance to let my ego run a little wild, I also want to make it clear that I’m not trying to overshadow Volpe’s 2021 season. I don’t think it is possible to do so. His numbers were that good.
In 54 games with the Tampa Tarpons (Class-A), Volpe hit to the following triple-slash and standard metrics:
.302/.455/.623 (1.078 OPS), 60 Hits, 12 HR’s, 49 RBI’s, 51:43 BB: K, 21:5 SB:CS
In 55 games with the Hudson Valley Renegades (Class-A+), Volpe did this:
.286/.391/.587 (.978 OPS), 61 Hits, 15 HR’s, 37 RBI’s, 27:58 BB:K, 12:4 SB:CS
Keep in mind, this was while Volpe was 1.3 years younger than the average Class-A player and nearly 3 years younger than the average Class-A+ player. The Yankees played a little bit of a risk with Volpe this year, and they were rewarded. Combined his offensive stats look like this:
.294/.423/.604 (1.027 OPS), 121 Hits, 27 HR’s, 86 RBI’s, 78:101 BB:K, 33:9 SB:CS