Volpe (2 hits, steal) enjoying 'best type of whirlwind'

April 2nd, 2023

NEW YORK -- If the scouts are right about , expected far and wide to have a lengthy career near the top of a big league lineup, then the archival footage of Saturday’s second inning may prove to be a valuable reference point years down the road.

The future is indeed bright for the 21-year-old, who is trying to keep his feet planted firmly in the present. The organization’s top prospect and the No. 5 prospect in all of baseball according to MLB Pipeline, Volpe collected his first and second Major League hits in the Yankees’ 7-5 loss to the Giants at Yankee Stadium.

“It’s been a whirlwind, but the best type of whirlwind,” Volpe said. “It’s been amazing for me to spend this time with my teammates, my family and my close friends. It’s cool for me, but it’s also even better that I’m able to experience it with them.”

Volpe’s first knock came off right-hander Alex Cobb, digging for an 86.7 mph slider and stroking a single into left field, past a diving attempt by shortstop Brandon Crawford. Volpe rounded first base and clapped his palms, congratulated by first-base coach Travis Chapman on what should be the first of many.

“It was an awesome moment,” Volpe said. “I felt like I was battling, so it was good to at least get the bat on the ball. To see it go through was a bonus.”

With his parents, Michael and Isabelle, watching from the stadium’s 200 level, Volpe (21 years and 338 days) became the youngest Yankee to record his first Major League hit since Gleyber Torres on April 24, 2018, vs. the Twins.

He did not have much time to savor the milestone. Dancing off first base, Volpe was off and running one pitch later, sliding safely into second base for the second time in as many games -- his helmet even popped off and rattled around the infield again, as it did during Thursday’s Opening Day contest.

“He’s keeping us rolling, getting steals,” said outfielder Giancarlo Stanton. “He’s a good charge when he’s on base.”

With that swipe, Volpe joined Fritz Maisel (1913) as the only Yankees to steal at least one base in each of their first two Major League games.

“More good at-bats from him today,” manager Aaron Boone said. “He’s in the fight every time up there. I certainly like where Anthony is at right now.”

The rest of the contest was a slog for the home team, despite Stanton’s 112.3 mph laser homer in the third inning, Anthony Rizzo’s booming game-tying double in the fifth, and Josh Donaldson’s rain-bringing long ball in the eighth.

Clarke Schmidt dodged trouble in the first two frames, then pitched a clean third before San Francisco hit him hard in the fourth, with Joc Pederson and Brandon Crawford lifting long balls.

Two more runs scored against Michael King in the sixth, with the go-ahead knock coming on LaMonte Wade Jr.’s check-swing nubber in front of home plate. Another run scored when Volpe could not corral Thairo Estrada’s sinking liner.

“That was a tough one,” Volpe said. “That’ll probably keep me up at night, thinking about that. I feel like I definitely should have had it.”

Stanton kicked himself for not taking advantage of two RBI opportunities, the first of which came with runners at second and third with none out in the fifth. Stanton grounded out, Donaldson was rung up on a questionable called third strike and Torres tapped back to the mound.

“I could have put us in a better position to win,” Stanton said. “That’s unacceptable in that situation.”

Two runs off Clay Holmes seemed to put the game away, but the Yanks’ offense flickered in the ninth. Volpe was the spark, lacing a one-out single up the middle, then scoring his first Major League run on an Aaron Judge single. Rizzo worked a walk before Stanton bounced into a game-ending double play, sending most of the crowd of more than 41,000 home grumbling.

Not Volpe, though. He understands there will be wins and losses over a long season, and while it wasn’t enough to tip the scoreboard in his team’s favor, at least he’s forever in the hit column.

“It was a great moment for me in my career,” Volpe said, “and definitely one I won’t forget.”