Red Sox must prepare for Yankees shortstop Anthony Volpe
Anthony Volpe improved his stock with a strong 2021 season, silencing critics who questioned the Yankees for selecting him in the first round of the 2019 draft. Once viewed as a high-IQ player with intangibles who lacked any plus tools, Volpe changed the narrative by making better quality contact and putting more loft in his swing to increase his power production. Now he’s suddenly viewed as a five-tool talent who has drawn comparisons to Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette.
Volpe hit .294 with a 1.027 OPS, 27 home runs, 86 RBI and 33 stolen bases in 109 games split between two levels of A-ball.
He’ll almost certainly begin the 2022 season in Double-A but he could move quickly through the Yankees system if his success at the lower levels translates to facing stiffer competition. In ESPN’s bold predictions for top prospects, Buster Olney predicted that Volpe could force his way to the Bronx at some point this year.
It’s an aggressive timeline but it’s hardly unprecedented for top prospects to skip a level if they are thriving at Double-A and a major league club fighting for a playoff spot needs their best talent available. The Yankees have a need at shortstop with Gleybor Torres better suited for second base and it’s not hard to imagine them getting impatient if there’s a hole in their lineup that Volpe could fill.
New York has been linked to the top free-agent shortstops on the market but that’s only because the Yankees are expected to bid on every top free agent. If they don’t open their checkbooks to land a star in their prime, it’s because they expect Volpe to be a star at the position in the near future.