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It is not time to panic about Anthony Volpe. 

The possible shortstop of the future does not yet have minor league stats that scream he should be the shortstop of the present for the Yankees. Like so many hitters across the minors and majors, many of whom are playing in cooler climates, Volpe got off to a slow start with Double-A Somerset and entered play Friday 6-for-39 (.154) across his first 10 games of the season. 

Left off the back of his baseball card are “at least” three drives that died on the warning track, Somerset manager Dan Fiorito said. 

“His first game out there, he barrelled up four balls,” Fiorito said by phone before his Patriots played at Hartford (a Rockies affiliate) on Friday. “You can see the talent every single night that he takes the field — just the at-bats that he puts together.” 

Volpe, a Watchung, N.J., native and Delbarton High School graduate, had homered in two of his previous three games, although he struck out six times in that span, too. He pieced together an all-around excellent game Wednesday. 

Anthony Volpe at the plate during a Yankees spring training game.
Anthony Volpe at the plate during a Yankees spring training game.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

“His last game was a snapshot of how dynamic of a player he is,” Fiorito said. “A leadoff home run, worked two walks, great play in the [shortstop] hole and stole a base. He can impact the game in so many different ways, and he’s been fun to watch.” 

There will be a blinding spotlight on the shortstop, who won’t turn 21 until Thursday, after the Yankees opted against signing any of the available free-agent stars (Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, Javier Baez and Trevor Story), to a long-term pact. They traded for Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who is seen as a short-term answer, to leave the position open for Volpe or the prospect one level above him, Oswald Peraza. 

Peraza, too, has gotten off to a slow start. He was hitting .180 with one home run in his first 10 games for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. 

If the Yankees’ continue to struggle at the plate over the next weeks or months, there could be plenty of wondering when their future — either Peraza (who is on the 40-man roster) or Volpe — will get a chance. 

Oswald Peraza at the plate during a Yankees spring training game.
Oswald Peraza at the plate during a Yankees spring training game.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

Either young shortstop could be forgiven if the expectations ever overwhelm them and affect how they perform. That should not be a problem for Volpe, who Fiorito said welcomes the stage and pairs a “plus” glove with a bat that zoomed through the Yankees’ system last season. He posted a .423 on-base percentage and drilled 27 home runs in 109 games between Class-A Tampa and High-A Hudson Valley. 

“He embraces it,” Fiorito said of the 30th overall pick in 2019. “But I think what’s special about him is just how mature he is for someone who’s only 20 years old. He understands the process and uses it to get better every day, and that’s what he’s doing right now.”

Source: NYPOST

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