Anthony Volpe, Oswald Peraza and the Yankees Shortstop Dilemma – The Mercury News


TAMPA — For the much maligned Yankee farming system, this spring is the best of times and the worst of times.

The best of times is Jasson Dominguez, the phenomenal young center fielder, who is living up to all the hype when the Yankees signed him for $5.1 million from the Dominican Republic as the No. 1 international prospect in 2019 on Friday , Dominguez was 7-for-16 with three home runs, seven RBI and 1,526 OPS in the Grapefruit League, as the cries of “Martian” (his colorful and appropriate nickname for his “out-of-this-world” five-tool talent) are resounding in the stands at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

The best of times was the emergence of Jersey fan favorite Anthony Volpe from a long shot into the shortstop draw for the early spring favorite.

It’s been a while since there’s been this much rookie buzz on the Yankees field. Aside from Aaron Judge (and he’s pretty good), the Yankees haven’t developed a frontline player since Brett Gardner in 2008, and before that Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada in the ’90s. It’s been the same with pitchers. Not since Andy Pettitte in 1995 has the Yankees crafted and developed a top-notch starting pitcher. We’ll see if that changes this year with Clarke Schmidt, their 2017 #1 pick at South Carolina, who is getting a golden opportunity for a rotation spot with Frankie Montas having undergone shoulder surgery ahead of spring training that will be away from him for months.

So what could possibly be the worst of times?

Well, for one thing, as electrifying as Dominguez was this spring, he played just five games above the A-ball and most of his Grapefruit League hits came as a late-inning substitution against minor league pitchers trash”. So even with Harrison Bader’s oblique injury likely to keep him from opening the season in center field, much to the chagrin of fans, Yankees top brass are unwilling to rush Dominguez’s schedule. Everyone you talk to on the Yankees insists the kid is the real deal, with an unusual calm and disciplined discipline for a 20-year-old, but his time, they also insist, hasn’t come yet.

The other “better and worse times” scenario playing out this spring has to do with the Yankees’ other two top prospects, Volpe and Oswald Peraza, who unfortunately both play the same position. It’s pretty clear that Volpe is a fan favorite just because of his North Jersey roots and infectious personality. But like Dominguez, Volpe has limited experience, just 89 hits above Double-A, as opposed to Peraza, who spent most of last season at the Scranton-Wilkes Barre hitting . 259 with 19 home runs and 33 stolen bases.

Of the two, Peraza is seen as the more natural shortstop, although Volpe’s boosters were quick to point to Jeter in 1996, who had doubts about being a true shortstop among the Yankee senior staff, and proved them wrong by winning the spring training job and never looking back. It’s a real dilemma for the Yankees’ brain confidence, especially for those who believe that Volpe, in the long run, is better suited to second or third base.

If Volpe continues to bat (6 for 20 with a home run and five runs on Friday) and demonstrates he can handle the position, how do you tell him he’s not a shortstop? Indeed, if, in late spring, Peraza is considered to be the Opening Day shortstop, how do you still ship Volpe to Triple-A as anything other than a shortstop?

I asked a veteran scout that question after the Yankees this spring. “You can’t,” he said. “You have to let the player prove that he doesn’t know how to play in the position. Volpe is only 21 years old and has played shortstop his entire life. The Yankees have to be very careful here.

Ultimately, one of them will be the winner of this competition, but for now Brian Cashman is not going there. “Anthony Volpe is doing everything he needs to do,” the GM said Thursday when asked about his assessment of the shortstop situation. “I’m not surprised he played well and is here to be reckoned with. We’ll see how it compares to everyone else in our inner dialogues. That hasn’t happened yet. I know everyone would love to have an answer as soon as possible, but we are not ready to make those decisions yet.”

As of 2022, the Yankees have the second highest overall age average in the majors (behind the Mets) at 30.12 and it’s fair to say they could use an infusion of youth. Either way, they’ll get it at shortstop, but it could be tricky. In the meantime, what remains to be seen is the best-case scenario – that would be Dominguez making his way into the Yankee outfield sometime in the ’23 season.


In the ’80s, when I was coach of the Astros, Yogi Berra did a series of short shows, sponsored by Stroh’s Beer and created by MLB TV guru villante tone called “Yogi at the Movies” in which he gave quick commentary on current movies. Well, now Yogi is the cinema! On May 12, Sony Pictures Classics will release “It Ain’t Over,” a 95-minute documentary about Yogi’s life to be shown in theaters in New York and Los Angeles and expanded to the rest of the country shortly thereafter. I have to say documentarian Sean Mullin and his producers did a remarkable job of setting up interviews with so many of Yogi’s former teammates (bobby brown, Tony Kubek, Bobby Richardson), Yankee legends (Don Mattingly, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Ron Guidry, Willie Randolph), in addition to Vin Scully, Billy Cristal It is Bob Costasand the sons of Yogi, hour, larry It is OK. It’s a really fun tribute to an American treasure and if Yogi were criticizing he would almost certainly say “you can see a lot from this movie just by watching it” while also reminding us not to leave the theater early “because the movie is not over until it’s over!” ”


#Anthony #Volpe #Oswald #Peraza #Yankees #Shortstop #Dilemma #Mercury #News


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