It’s only Anthony Volpe’s sixth game at Triple-A, but from the way he’s been swinging the bat, you’d think he’d already be in pinstripes.
MLB’s No. 5 overall prospect cranked his first two home runs at the Minors’ highest level — one to left-center field, one to right-center — in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s 7-2 win at Durham on Thursday night. It’s his first multihomer performance since June 19 of last year and the second season in a row that the top Yankees prospect has left the yard at least 20 times.
“It felt good just to help the team get a win,” Volpe said. “It’s a really great clubhouse that’s welcomed me in since I got called up this past week, so it felt really great to get a win with them.”
No matter if it’s Single-A or Triple-A, Volpe said, the Yankees organization makes it easy for players to adjust level to level.
“The common message from one affiliate to the next really helped the transition be pretty seamless,” Volpe said. “Everyone’s kind of preaching the same stuff, so when you get called up, your routine doesn’t necessarily change and you feel like you can hit the ground running.”
The 21-year-old certainly doesn’t look like he’s missed a beat. Not only has he recorded at least one hit in each game he’s played, but in an early taste of what may be to come next year, Volpe led off Wednesday’s contest against rehabbing Rays ace Tyler Glasnow — and drew a five-pitch walk.
He was the only batter to reach base against Glasnow in his one inning of work.
“It was a really great experience,” Volpe said. “Even prior to the game, game-planning for a pitcher of that caliber really helped me lock in.”
That high level of pitch selection was on full display Thursday. Even though the shortstop struck out and grounded out in his first two at-bats, he worked the count full both times. He did likewise on his first dinger of the day.
Stepping to the plate with two away in the fifth, right-hander Jeremy Walker ran the count full against Volpe. The right-handed slugger turned on the sixth pitch on the upper-middle half and skied it up several rows in right-center for a solo jack, his first at the Triple-A level.
It didn’t take that long for him to leave the yard a second time. The New Jersey native was all over the 0-1 offering from lefty Angel Perdomo in the seventh, this time taking it to left-center for another solo dinger.
“This is my first time facing a Rays affiliate since like, Rookie ball,” Volpe said. “But talking to the guys who faced them in the big leagues, I saw that they were trying to throw different looks at you every time with different pitchers, whether it be righty, lefty, different arm slots, different type of pitch movements. Every at-bat was different.”
Volpe had a chance for a third long ball in the ninth, but despite getting the green light on a 3-0 pitch, he flew out to right to cap off his two-homer night.
“I don’t know if I ever necessarily try to hit home runs, but 3-0 is one of the best counts to hit in,” Volpe said. “I thought it was a good spot in the game to take a chance and take a good cut.”
Volpe is ending the 2022 campaign stronger than ever. He’s already stolen a career-high 46 bases and is five hits and three doubles away from surpassing his career-high marks of 121 and 35, respectively, that he set last season.
“It’s pretty awesome to see them succeed, for me and all the other guys in the organization,” Volpe said. “It gives us something to strive for.”