Who is Anthony Volpe?

March 31st, 2023

was selected 30th overall by the New York Yankees in 2019 and began the 2023 season on the 26-man roster. He's also the No. 5 prospect in baseball. But who is Anthony Volpe? Here's what to know about the promising infielder from New Jersey:

MLB organization: Yankees
Birthdate: April 28, 2001 (Age 21 entering 2023)
Primary position: SS
Height/weight: 5-foot-9, 180 lbs.
Bats/throws: Right/right
Hometown: Watchung, New Jersey
School: Delbarton School (Morristown, New Jersey)
Drafted: 30th overall, 2019 (by NYY)
MLB Debut: March 30, 2023

He forced the Yankees' hand this spring

Volpe came into camp with a total of 275 professional games under his belt, only 22 of which came at the Triple-A level. We'll be a month into the big league season before he turns 22 years old. An ordinary developmental timeline would have had him opening the year in the Minors. His extraordinary Grapefruit League showing upended that timeline.

His power-speed combo made history in 2022

In his second full season of pro ball, Volpe belted 21 homers and stole 50 bases. While 20/20 seasons were way up across the Minors in 2022, the Yankees' phenom was the first 20/50 Minor Leaguer since 1995, when Andruw Jones hit that mark. Volpe also fueled the Double-A Somerset Patriots to a first-half title, and he was up in Triple-A for his final 22 games of the year. He also combined for 35 doubles and five triples across the two levels.

He broke out in 2021

With a .294/.423/.604 slash line in 109 games between Single-A and High-A in 2021, Volpe posted a 1.027 OPS and 170 wRC+ -- both tops among all qualified full-season Minor Leaguers. His 27 homers and 33 steals also made him one of 16 20-20 players in the Minors.

For his efforts, Volpe was named MLB Pipeline’s Hitting Prospect of the Year. He also received the Kevin Lawn Award as the Yankees’ Minor League Position Player of the Year, joining Eduardo Núñez (2010), Derek Jeter (1994 and 1995) and Dave Silvestri (1991) as the only shortstops to win the award since its inception in 1980.

He didn’t find immediate success in pro ball

Volpe’s breakout 2021 came after an inauspicious start to his professional career. Mononucleosis limited him to 34 rookie ball games during the 2019 season, in which he slashed .215/.349/.355 with a 25.3% strikeout rate. He then spent all of 2020 working on his own after the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the Minor League season and the Yankees didn't stage a domestic instructional league program.

He grew up a Yankees fan

Having grown up 41 miles west of Yankee Stadium, Volpe naturally became a Yankees fan. According to the USA Today Network’s Pete Caldera, the shortstop learned about Mickey Mantle from his grandfather and even wore No. 7 throughout high school.

He played high school ball with Jack Leiter

Volpe wasn’t the only future first-rounder on his Delbarton School team. Nor was he the only Vanderbilt commit.

Jack Leiter -- ranked by MLBPipeline as the No. 78 prospect in all of baseball entering the 2023 season -- was the ace of Delbarton’s staff, and the Yankees took a flyer on him in the 20th round of the same 2019 Draft in which they selected Volpe. Leiter chose to honor his commitment to the Commodores, and in 2021, the Texas Rangers took him No. 2 overall. Although three years have passed since they played together, Leiter and Volpe remain close.

“It's really cool to have a former teammate who I played with for so long and became so close with get what he's deserved this whole time,” Leiter told MLB Pipeline’s Jim Callis in 2022. “People who have known him since he was little have always known that that was Anthony Volpe. It just recently got recognized by the whole world and I think that's awesome. And knowing him and his work ethic, he's going to continue to impress people.”

He’s not afraid of the big stage

Volpe’s first exposure to Team USA baseball came in 2013 as part of the team that won the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-12 Baseball World Cup in Taiwan. He went on to help the U.S. win the bronze medal at the 2016 WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup in Japan and later played for the U.S. team that captured the 2018 U-18 Pan American Baseball Championship.