The New York Yankees have found their perfect Yankee icon for the modern generation.
Anthony Volpe checks several boxes on the list of stereotypical requirements for being a Yankee icon:
- He was born in New York
- He is of Italian descent
- He comes from a family of Yankee fans
Now he’s playing for the team he grew up watching, and he’s doing a heck of a job at it. He has a tall order to fill at shortstop, and many await to see what the New York kid can do in his second season.
It’s kind of like a fairy tale. Well, not kind of. It is a fairy tale.
Anthony Volpe was born in the homeland of the Yankees on the day of a Yankee home win. He grew up watching games with Yankee culture and tradition bred into him by his family. Volpe’s dad, a urologist, is responsible for his son’s Italian genes. His mother, an anesthesiologist, is responsible for his Filipino genes. His parents both being doctors set Volpe up well from the start, but he worked hard to play professional baseball.
Volpe moved to New Jersey in fourth grade. He started his career playing high school baseball at Delbarton School in Morristown, NJ. He batted .488 with eight home runs and was named 2019 New Jersey High School Player of the Year by Perfect Game. He committed to playing college ball at Vanderbilt, and bigger opportunities soon came around.
Professional Playing Career
He was picked at number 30 in the first round of the 2019 MLB Draft. After signing in June and receiving his $2.7 million signing bonus, Volpe debuted in the minor leagues with the Pulaski Yankees. He showed off his stuff in the Appalachian League, but COVID-19 eventually shut down the league.
Like other professional athletes, Volpe worked to improve until the minor leagues reopened, which they finally did. Volpe was assigned to the Tampa Tarpons in 2021 and made a loud statement with his batting, moving his way up to the Sally League before long. The Yankees, happy with Volpe’s progression, assigned him to the Somerset Patriots in 2022. He carried each team he played for on the way to his promotion to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders in Triple A.
The start of his Major League career began with an invitation from the Yankees to compete as a non-roster player against Oswald Peraza for the starting shortstop position. Volpe, as we know, was announced as the Opening Day starting shortstop in 2023. He was the youngest player since Derek Jeter to start on Opening Day. Despite the Yankees unimpressive overall performance last year, Volpe put on a show in his rookie season. He stole bases left and right, collected accolades, hit grand slams and put on a show defensively. He ended the season .209/.283/.383 with 21 home runs, 60 RBIs and 24 stolen bases. He also, won the American League Gold Glove Award at shortstop.
Volpe will have to continue to compete for his role and prove his skills. Look out for another defensive showcase, and look for his batting to continue to improve with a beefier lineup in the 2024 season. Aaron Judge will continue his offensive work with Juan Soto adding another offensive spark. The team will hope rookie Jasson Dominguez returns in a timely manner from his Tommy John surgery to produce offensively as well. Volpe’s offensive game should progress amongst these offensive giants. He has big shoes to fill as a shortstop, and many hope to see the fairy tale moment continue.