NEW YORK: Top prospect Anthony Volpe was named to the New York Yankees’ Opening Day roster, manager Aaron Boone said on Sunday (Mar 26), a dream come true for the 21-year-old homegrown shortstop who grew up idolizing the team.
Local sports writers have said Volpe will be the first player under 22 years old to start Opening Day for the Bronx Bombers in 27 years, after Hall of Famer and fellow shortstop Derek Jeter, whom he admired since he was a kid growing up in New Jersey.
Boone told reporters Volpe “absolutely kicked the door in” in spring training where he had three home runs, five RBIs, five stolen bases and a .314 batting average.
“He earned the respect of the veterans in the room. His work is excellent, there’s an energy he plays the game with and an instinct that he has that’s evident,” said Boone.
“I think when we take a step back and evaluate, he really checked every box that we could have had for him.”
With just 22 games under his belt in Triple-A ball, Volpe’s future was the subject of wild speculation among New York fans, after the Yankees were shut out in the ALCS last year to eventual World Series champions Houston Astros.
The Yankees take the field for their regular season at home on Thursday against the San Francisco Giants.