Get to know Yanks top prospect Anthony Volpe

March 25th, 2023

TAMPA, Fla. -- has continued to impress in his spring battle to be the Yankees’ Opening Day shortstop. Now, it’s time for the club's top prospect to answer some tough questions that only a New Jerseyite can, such as: Pork Roll or Taylor Ham? 

Rated as the No. 5 overall prospect in baseball by MLB Pipeline, the 21-year-old Volpe has excelled on both sides of the ball, remaining in competition to crack the Bombers’ Opening Day roster into the final week of camp.

Volpe chatted with in the home dugout at George M. Steinbrenner Field about his chances of making the big league squad, Willie Randolph’s impact and a variety of other topics.

How would you describe the experience of being in this big league camp?

Just a ton of fun with it being my first camp and being around the rest of the team and the rest of the coaching staff. It's just been a blast.

Now, when you first came to camp, one of the first things you said was that it meant a lot to sit with Willie Randolph on the bench and talk with him. How has Willie helped you, and what is the most impactful thing he's told you here?

I think every little detail Willie has helped me with -- talked to me, worked on the field. [It] has been, definitely, the highlight of my camp. But I think just being around him and seeing how passionate he is, just the stories he has -- it's just a great experience every time he's there.

What’s the best advice he’s given you so far?

I think me kind of transitioning and playing a little bit of second base, he's definitely helped me a lot. Just giving me little pointers about work around the bag, just the different angles between second base and shortstop. He came up as a shortstop, too, so it's just little things like that.

Now, you grew up as a Yankees fan. How did your fandom develop?

I've never really had a choice. It was kind of all or nothing since I could remember. But my parents and grandparents and my whole family are super big Yankees fans. And I definitely got lucky growing up and being able to go to a couple games and really not having a choice, but then falling in love with the team myself.

What’s the impact your parents have had on your career so far?

Huge. I think baseball is one thing, but [in] the rest of my life, they're my role models. I'm super, super grateful to have amazing parents and super selfless parents.

Last year, you told me you went to a few games at Yankee Stadium in that 2009 season when they won the World Series. What was that like? What do you remember from that?

I just remember it was a really fun season. It was the first year in the new Yankee Stadium. So it was kind of bittersweet, I guess, between me being excited to just go to a new stadium and my dad kind of being angry that they closed the old one. But yeah, I remember that; so many walk-off wins that year. And it was just a fun year. And then, obviously, the playoffs and the World Series and everything like that. I didn't get to go to any playoff games. But I got to go to the parade, which is pretty cool.

What do you remember about the parade?

There was just so much toilet paper. I was little; me and my sister were little. We weaseled our way into the front of the gates. And it was just a really fun day. We got to skip school.

Derek Jeter was your guy on that team. If you could take one attribute from Jeter and apply it to your career, what do you think you would take?

I think his consistency and how reliable and how respected he was because of, probably, that consistency. I know a lot of hard work definitely went into that. But he just seemed like the guy that the Yankees always wanted to have up and the other team always didn't want to have up. So I would definitely love to emulate that in my game.

You’ve worn No. 7 in the Minors, you’re wearing No. 77 this spring. What is the significance of that number for you?

My grandfather was a huge Mickey Mantle fan. So when it came time when I was 7 [or] 8 years old to pick a number, he kind of pushed me toward that and I've stuck with it ever since.

Do you think you’ll stay with No. 77? Obviously, No. 7 is not available with the Yankees.

We’ll see. I don’t really know how that works.

Tell me a little bit about growing up in New Jersey. Did you spend summers down the shore? What was the whole experience of being a New Jerseyite?

New Jersey was great for baseball, and kind of very different than growing up in Manhattan, but I never really went down the shore just because I was never really home -- just playing baseball on the weekends growing up. It was kind of funny. The most I've ever been home for summer was this past summer playing in [Double-A] Somerset. So it was definitely cool to experience a summer in New Jersey.

What was that experience like? Just having so many friends and family around and coming out to the ballpark?

It was amazing. I definitely got to connect with a lot of people that I maybe lost touch with throughout COVID and everything like that. So it was amazing to see the support from friends, family and the rest of the community, and like I said, reconnect with a lot of people.

All right, important New Jersey questions for you: Taylor Ham or Pork Roll?

Taylor Ham, for me.

Bruce Springsteen or Bon Jovi?


What exit?

41 on [Interstate] 78.

What do you love about playing shortstop?

I just love how in the mix you are. You're kind of the captain of the infield. I just think there's something to do every single pitch; honestly, regardless of your position, but I definitely like shortstop for that reason, especially.

What would you say is the best moment of your career so far?

I'd say winning the gold medal for Team USA in high school and then winning those state championships. And then this past season, being a part of the Somerset team. We won the Eastern League championship; I wasn't there, but we won the Eastern League championship. So that was pretty cool.

Last question for you. Obviously, we don't know how the next week or so is going to go. But eventually you'll be at Yankee Stadium making your Major League debut -- fingers crossed. How do you think that'll feel? What do you think that'll mean for you and for your family?

Yeah, I don't know if I can necessarily even put it into words. I don't even know if I've really thought about it, per se. But I mean, that's what will make it all the better. I'll just try and take it all in and be in the moment and soak it all in.