For young MLB prospects in their first season in The Show, hitting high velocity represents one of the biggest hurdles towards stardom.
A prospect who can hit high-90s velo and also make adjustments to connect on a nasty breaking ball is probably headed for a successful career.
It took a while, but it appears New York Yankees shortstop Anthony Volpe has made the necessary adjustments as a hitter and is ready to take off.
On Thursday, he homered on a pitch over 98 mph against the Blue Jays to help secure a series win.
Anthony Volpe turns around 98.6 mph heat for his 7th @Yankees homer: pic.twitter.com/lJO8rSCROM
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) May 19, 2023
The homer came against former top prospect Nate Pearson, known for being a flamethrower.
It’s amazing how much game power Volpe has, given his small size.
It goes to show that raw power is not necessarily the only ingredient needed to hit a homer: barrel control is just as important.
One might see Volpe’s stat line and not be impressed: .215/.307/.399 with a 97 wRC+ (100 represents league average performance).
However, considering his lousy start (a logical adjustment period), Volpe has been more than fine at shortstop for the Yankees.
He might be error-prone but makes highlight-reel plays every night, he contributes on the basepaths (13 stolen bases), and he has the seven home runs that put him on a really nice pace for the year.
Volpe can do it all on a baseball field, and this is just a glimpse of his future potential.
He looks more settled and composed, and the Yankees finally have a long-term answer at shortstop.NEXT: Aaron Judge Keeps Streak Alive With Towering Home Run