Top prospect Anthony Volpe will start at shortstop for the New York Yankees after an undeniable spring training performance vaulted him to the coveted job, the team announced Sunday.
Volpe, 21, will travel back to the Bronx on Wednesday and join the starting lineup on Thursday against the San Francisco Giants following a spring in which he batted .314/.417/.647 with three home runs and 10 extra-base hits in 17 games.
He was informed of the decision by manager Aaron Boone on Sunday afternoon.
"My heart was beating pretty hard," Volpe said. "Incredible. I'm just so excited. It's hard for me to even put into words."
The No. 3 overall prospect in MLB, according to ESPN's Kiley McDaniel, Volpe joined the Yankees out of the Delbarton School in Morristown, New Jersey, as the 30th pick of the 2019 draft. During his first full season in 2021, Volpe established himself as one of the best prospects in baseball, and he followed it with a standout 2022 that ended at Triple-A.
In 275 minor league games, Volpe hit .263/.376/.505 with 50 home runs and 89 stolen bases.
Still, he was an underdog heading into spring training, with Oswald Peraza, another front-line shortstop prospect, expected to earn the job. While Peraza struggled, Volpe thrived and received the support of teammates who were smitten by not only his talent but his maturity.
"He's earned the right to take that spot, and we're excited for him and excited for us," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said of Volpe. "He just dominated all sides of the ball during February and March, and that bodes well, obviously, for him as we move forward."
Volpe will be the youngest Yankees shortstop since Derek Jeter debuted at age 20 in 1995 and only the second homegrown shortstop since Jeter's retirement in 2014, along with Gleyber Torres.
"It was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get into the organization," Volpe said. "This day, this feeling, this moment was kind of what I've worked my whole life for when I made that big decision."
"Right now, it's crazy," he added. "I don't even know what lies ahead, but Thursday, I just want to go out and play and have fun."
The Associated Press contributed to this story.