The New York Yankees aren’t waiting for the future to see what they have in star prospect Anthony Volpe.
Instead, the Yankees are giving the 21-year-old phenom the starting shortstop job from the outset this season.
The Yankees announced Sunday that Volpe, who is the fifth-ranked prospect in all of baseball according to MLB Pipeline, made the big-league roster out of spring training and is expected to be in the starting lineup Thursday when New York opens the season in the Bronx against the San Francisco Giants.
“It was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get into the organization,” Volpe said, per ESPN. “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.”
Volpe won the job thanks to the torrid spring he had. The No. 30 overall pick in the 2019 draft slashed .314/.417/.647 while belting three home runs and collecting 10 extra-base hits in 17 games.
That production along with the .263/.376/.505 he hit over the course of 275 minor league games to go along with 50 home runs and 89 stolen bases was enough to convince Yankees management to not delay his journey to the big league any longer.
“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, per ESPN. “He just dominated all sides of the ball during February and March, and that bodes well, obviously, for him as we move forward.”
According to ESPN, Volpe will be the youngest shortstop for the Yankees since Derek Jeter made his debut in pinstripes at the age of 20 in 1995.