August 14, 2022

Anthony Volpi is enjoying the 2022 All-Star Futures Game experience

Anthony Volpi is enjoying the 2022 All-Star Futures Game experience

Los Angeles — Anthony Volpi He attended his first Futures game eight years ago at Target Field, part of an All-Star trip with his dad to see Derek Jeter play in the Midsummer Classic final.

Volpi didn’t know he was likely to follow in the footsteps of his favorite player.

Volpe, who grew up in a New Jersey suburb about 30 miles from Yankee Stadium, returned to Saturday’s SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at Dodger Stadium, this time starting in the shortstop and MLS cleanup.

“It’s not so much that you get a chance to play against the best of the best,” said Volpi, who finished 0-2 in the competition. “I’m really excited.”

Volpi overcame a sluggish start to 2022 at Double-A Somerset, finally showing off the skills that made him class as a Yankees. No. 1 possibility and the Number 8 Possibility Overall in the game, according to MLB Pipeline.

After hitting .203 with five home runs and 22 RBIs in 40 games through the end of May, Volpi hit .306 with seven other players and 20 RBIs in 37 games in June and July, earning his spot on Saturday’s All-Star Show.

A poor start to the season didn’t bother the 21-year-old, who trusted his talent and workflow through tough times, confident he would come out of his slack as a smarter and stronger player.

“It actually gives me a lot of confidence knowing I didn’t really change anything or it wasn’t a single thing that I felt set me free,” Volpi said. “I’ve clearly struggled, but I haven’t really changed anything and I’m seeing a lot of different results. The process always stays the same, and it’s obviously good to see some of the blows fall off.”

As Volpi spoke to six reporters before Saturday’s game, a familiar face stood about 20 feet across the clubhouse: jack liter.

Rangers highest probability (number 16 Overall in MLB) he was Volpe’s high school teammate in Delbarton (NJ), so if anyone in the AL locker room had a good Baby Bomber exploratory report, it was Leiter.

“He’s always been a tough player,” said Leiter. “Probably the best hitter I’ve ever faced.”

Leiter praised Volpe for his field skills, but it was his mental makeup and work ethic that constantly came up during the conversation. Leiter’s father, Al, was a two-time All-Star during his solid 19-year career, so the 22-year-old has an idea of ​​what it takes to succeed in the major competition. The hype that can come with being a Yankees’ top prospect – not to mention a Jersey native like Jeter – can become overwhelming for many kids of Volpe’s age.

In that case, Leiter said, that shouldn’t be a problem.

“Since he was 10 years old, there has been talk all over New Jersey that Anthony Volpi is going to be the next big thing,” Leiter said. “The important thing in dealing with expectations is not to worry about it; work hard and don’t focus on the bigger picture. Don’t focus on what other people are saying or thinking about you. It’s just keeping that routine.”

“There were expectations on him from a young age and he always handled it really well, so there is no reason to believe he won’t last. If there was anyone who could handle the biggest market, the biggest fan base, all those expectations, it would be the same.”

Like every major Yankee prospect before him, Volpi is sure to hear his name in one trade rumor or another between now and the August 2 trading deadline. This is a prime example of what Leiter was talking about, and based on Volpi’s response to such a question on Saturday, he appears to have a pretty good understanding of how to handle that.

“It’s out of my control; I’m here in LA with some of the best minor league players in the game, so I don’t think about things like that,” Volpi said. Mental strength thinking about that, I’d walk away from this.”

Hal Steinbrenner cited Volpi’s rise through the organization as one of the reasons the Yankees chose not to pursue one of the big names for the free agent at the end of the season, which only drove those expectations higher. “It’s great to hear Steinbrenner express this kind of confidence in him, but he doesn’t set any personal timetable in terms of getting to the Bronx,” Volpe said.

“I feel like I still have a long way to go,” Volpi said. “[The Futures Game] Obviously a great step in my career, but there is still a lot of work to be done. Even when I hope to get there one day, there is still a lot of work to do to be the player I want to be, and I hope to win a lot of world championships.”

Sounds awful like a former Yankees player, doesn’t he?