The Yankees have refused to trade Anthony Volpe no matter the deal. Was that smart or dumb of them?
- Born: April 28, 2001
- B/T: Right/Right
- 5’11”, 180-lbs
- Drafted by the New York Yankees in the 2019 MLB June Amateur Draft from Delbartin High School (Morristown, NJ)
His raw numbers are listed above courtesy of baseball-reference.com. Let’s aggregate by year then focus on the important numbers for minor leaguers:
Volpe did OK in his first professional season at Rookie ball as an 18-year-old high school player. Got on base at a decent clip, showed a bit of power, stole some bases, had an excellent walk rate and a strikeout rate that wasn’t too high. A perfectly average season for a batter, but again, he did this as an 18-year-old.
Skipping 2020, as we do, and he started 2021 at A-ball where he put it all together in dominating fashion. He almost perfectly split the season between there and High-A, and it’s in High-A where he slowed a bit. Still great power, still some speed, but his strikeout rate climbed and his walk rate was cut almost in half. Was this a sign of better pitching getting the better of him?
No, for in 2022 he spent all but the final month in Double-A, and while the power wasn’t quite as otherworldly, a .221 ISO is still great, and for the season he had a Hard Hit % of 27% which is fine. The speed bounced back, the walk rate remained steady, and his great low strikeout rate returned. He didn’t have as high an OBP or wRC+, but his bat skills were up to the challenge of Double-A.
Then he goes to Triple-A for September, and there we can see a tired 21-year-old finishing the season. We start to discern a pattern where he might take a bit to adjust to a level — as one does — before he comes into form. Let’s see.
This is why I do monthly splits. Volpe’s nice 2022 in Double-A is actually a bell curve that climbs into July before fading in August and then collapsing in Triple-A in September. But oh, that July!
I find it encouraging that his walk rate was only excessive in April and September. As his OBP jumps all over the place from May through August, he got his strikeouts and walks into rock solid place from month to month.
Handedness K% and BB%
AA (vs RH): 17%K and 11%BB. (vs LH): 23%K and 11%BB.
AAA (vs RH): 36%K and 8%BB. (vs LH): 13%K and 8%BB.
Triple-A is too small a sample to judge. But I see no problems with handedness here. He’s good no matter who he faces.
He needs to master Triple-A, and his good Double-A was not as good as his great production at the lower levels. On the other hand, nobody gets on base at a .455 clip while hitting over .300 ISO. Oh wait, Barry Bonds actually did just that for his entire career…Well, you get the idea. He may have been Barry Bonds at A-Ball, but he will be just Anthony Volpe in the Majors.
The scouts think he’s one of he ten best prospects in the game now. So were the Yankees smart not to trade him? Depends on the trade, but if it might have been justified in the past, it could hardly be likely to expect them to trade him now that he is on the verge of the Majors.
Speaking of which, unless he crashes and burns at Triple-A in 2023, he is clearly going to be in the major leagues sometime this summer. He is spoken of as having great baseball instincts, and good enough defense to stick at short if that’s what the Yankees need. And yeah, that’s what they need.