Volpe triples, drives in four on his birthday

April 29th, 2022

For most people, spending a day in the stands at the ballpark is a good way to celebrate a birthday. Anthony Volpe is not most people.

To celebrate his 21st birthday, the No. 8 prospect in baseball went 2-for-4 with a triple and four RBIs out of the leadoff spot for Double-A Somerset. In his second consecutive multihit game, Volpe led his team to a 15-3 blowout win over Portland in MLB Pipeline’s inaugural Game of the Month on MLB.TV and MiLB.TV.

“It was a really good birthday,” said Volpe. “The competitive nature of the game is what makes it so much fun for me and why we’re out here working so hard, because we want to win.”

Volpe remained quiet for the early portion of the game, flying out to center in the first inning and grounding into a fielder’s choice in the third. Each team recorded its first hit in the third inning, and Portland struck first on Tyler Dearden’s three-run homer in the fourth.

From then on, it was all Somerset. Volpe brought home the Patriots’ first run with a sac fly and scored an at-bat later on Yankees’ No. 18 prospect Brandon Lockridge’s go-ahead three-run blast, making the score 4-3.

When the Yankees’ top prospect came to the plate in the seventh, the bases were loaded thanks to three straight singles to start the inning. After taking two strikes, Volpe promptly cleared the bases with a line-drive triple into the right-center-field gap, pushing the Patriots’ lead to four runs.

“I’m glad I didn’t miss that one,” said Volpe. “It’s awesome to come up in those situations and get good pitches to hit.”

In the eighth, Somerset scored on Michael Beltre’s RBI single and Chad Bell’s three-run home run before Volpe’s fourth at-bat. He dropped a single into left field and moved to second on Lockridge’s single to load the bases. This time, it was Derek Dietrich who unloaded the bases, crushing a grand slam to give Somerset eight runs in the inning and 15 in the game.

“There’s a lot of guys that grinded out a lot of at-bats today, especially at the bottom third of the lineup,” said Volpe. “It’s awesome to see those guys do that kind of stuff and it gives us a lot of confidence.”

Volpe has gotten off to a slow start in his first taste of Double-A but has begun to turn it around as he begins to time up pitching at this level.

“I felt great,” Volpe said of his timing. “Just putting good swings on good pitches. I felt that way at the end of last week, just taking good pitches and really seeing it so [I have] a lot of confidence going forward.”

In his last seven games, Volpe has tallied seven hits, six RBIs, eight walks and five stolen bases. In 16 games this season, he’s batting .200 with a .707 OPS, six extra-base hits, 10 walks and six stolen bases.

“At the beginning of the year, everything gets spotlighted,” said Volpe. “It’s an adjustment, and one that you wouldn’t want to have to make, but it’s the ebbs and flows of the season.”

The New Jersey native burst onto the prospect scene with a monster season in 2021. Volpe hit 27 home runs, six triples and 35 doubles while scoring 113 runs and driving in 86 in a season split between Low-A Tampa and High-A Hudson Valley. He also stole 33 bases while posting a .294/.423/.604 slash line with a 1.078 OPS, a performance that made him the No. 2 shortstop prospect in baseball behind Bobby Witt Jr.