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Yankees sign first-round Draft pick Volpe

@BryanHoch
June 10, 2019

NEW YORK -- Twenty-seven summers ago, the Yankees invited their top Draft selection for a guided tour of Yankee Stadium, a place that they hoped the lanky high school shortstop would one day call home. Derek Jeter could not have known that those would be fondly recalled as the first

NEW YORK -- Twenty-seven summers ago, the Yankees invited their top Draft selection for a guided tour of Yankee Stadium, a place that they hoped the lanky high school shortstop would one day call home.

Derek Jeter could not have known that those would be fondly recalled as the first moments of his march toward a rightful place in Monument Park, but Anthony Volpe hopes that he is about to follow in his idol's well-chronicled footsteps.

The Yankees announced on Monday that they have signed Volpe, their first-round Draft selection out of Delbarton School in Morristown, N.J. The 30th overall pick and a shortstop, Volpe had committed to Vanderbilt University but said he could not pass up the opportunity to play for his favorite team.

Yankees Draft Tracker

"It was the hardest decision of my life, to pass up the college experience and being part of a team that could win the college championship," Volpe said. "But the opportunity to play for the New York Yankees, who I've dreamed about playing for my entire life ... once it hit me, I was really excited and ready to put everything I possibly could, not look back or have any regrets. I just want to get back here to win games."

According to MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo, Volpe's bonus is $2,740,300, more than the $2,365,500 slot value assigned to the pick.

A native of Watchung, N.J., Volpe led the USA Baseball 18U National Team to a gold medal at the Pan-American Championships this past December, earning all-tournament honors by hitting .459 (17-for-37) with 17 runs, 14 RBIs and six stolen bases in nine games.

"The fact that he's in the middle of the field as a shortstop was really attractive to us because we like those kind of athletic players," said Damon Oppenheimer, the Yankees' vice president of domestic amateur scouting. "He's a guy that we've been following for years. He's been a quality player. He's got quality makeup. We've done a lot of work on him to really feel comfortable about him."

The 18-year-old also played in the 2018 Perfect Game All-American Classic last summer at Petco Park in San Diego. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound shortstop was ranked as the No. 52 overall prospect by Baseball America and No. 63 by MLB Pipeline.

"I'd say I'm someone that will do everything humanly possible to help the team win on any given day," Volpe said. "I'll lay down a bunt, I'll steal a base, whatever the team needs. You can count on me being that guy that will do my best to help the team."

Though Volpe said that it was "bittersweet" to be parting with high school teammate Jack Leiter, who was selected by the Yankees in the 20th round but is attending Vanderbilt, he understands the hurler's decision.

"We kind of knew. It was a mutual kind of thing," Volpe said. "Jack is the best pitcher in the country and he's going to be sophomore eligible. In two years, he'll be hearing his name called really early. I'm so excited for him. He's going to do great things at Vandy."

Volpe visited the Yankees' clubhouse prior to Monday's rainout, shaking hands with several members of the current roster; sporting six stitches on his lower lip as the result of an ill-advised dugout outburst over the weekend in Cleveland, Brett Gardner advised the youngster not to throw his helmet.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone said that he met briefly with Volpe, with whom he had spoken to briefly after the Draft.

"Good-looking kid. Athletic-looking kid. Really nice kid," Boone said. "You can tell he was very excited, understanding his affinity for this organization growing up. He can't wait to get started."

Now that his name is on an official contract, Volpe's professional journey is set to begin on Friday, when he reports to the Yankees' player development complex in Tampa, Fla. Volpe said that he is hungry for the challenges ahead.

"Everyone says that the Minor Leagues are a grind because you're playing every day, you're taking ground balls in the heat," Volpe said. "But that's what I love about the game, that's fun for me, just being out there and playing with your teammates and trying to win."

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and Facebook.