Yankees top prospect Anthony Volpe makes 2023 Opening Day roster

Mar 24, 2023; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Anthony Volpe (77) is congratulated in the Yankees dugout after hitting a two run home run in the third inning against the Minnesota Twins at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Dave Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 24, 2023; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Anthony Volpe (77) is congratulated in the Yankees dugout after hitting a two run home run in the third inning against the Minnesota Twins at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Dave Nelson-USA TODAY Sports / © Dave Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Volpe, the Yankees’ top prospect and the No. 5 overall prospect in baseball according to MLB Pipeline, has seemingly won the Bombers’ starting shortstop job.

Volpe has officially made the Yankees’ Opening Day roster.

"My heart was beating pretty hard, but I don’t know, I don’t really have too many words right now. It just feels amazing," Volpe told reporters after he got the news.

"I’m just so excited. It’s hard for me to put it into words."

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He was also seen talking to his family and taking some photos after finding out that he made the team.

"When I got word that they were outside, to have that moment with them is something I’ll never forget," Volpe said.

The 21-year-old, who played just 22 games at the Triple-A level last season, has had an outstanding spring, slashing .314/.417/.647 with three home runs, five RBI, 13 runs scored and five stolen bases.

If Volpe gets the start on Opening Day (which now seems like a lock), he’ll be the youngest Yankees Opening Day starter since Derek Jeter in 1996, with Volpe (21 years, 336 days) being just slightly older than Jeter (21 years, 281 days) (h/t MLB.com's Sarah Langs).

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The Yankees came into this spring with an open competition for the starting shortstop job, featuring incumbent Isiah Kiner-Falefa and fellow top prospect Oswald Peraza. But Kiner-Falefa now appears more likely to serve a super-utility role, and Peraza has struggled at the plate, hitting just .190. After the team's game on Sunday, Peraza was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

"We talked about it being a competition from the start, and not that spring training numbers were going to be everything, but I think when you look at Anthony's, first of all the reputation he's earned within our organization, we in big league camp and as a big league staff got to see that first hand for the better part of the last six, seven weeks," said Aaron Boone.

"And while certainly the performance was there, he killed it between the lines, all the other things that we've been hearing about showed up. 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. And I think when we take a step back and evaluate, he really checked every box that we could have had for him and absolutely kicked the door in and earned this opportunity."

In the eyes of many, Peraza came into camp with a slight edge to make the roster over Volpe, mainly because of his fielding ability, but the Morristown, N.J. native and first-round pick in 2019 simply forced the Yankees' hand, doing everything that he could to earn the starting job at short.

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"As you know, we entered camp with an open competition. We said it publicly and we said it privately," said Brian Cashman. "And the obvious exclamation point here is Anthony Volpe came into camp and took this position. And he, he should be congratulated.

"It was well played. He's earned the right to take that spot for for the New York Yankees as we open the 2023 season and we're excited for him and excited for us."

Yankees fans have been clamoring for Volpe to make the Opening Day roster, and now when the Yankees host the San Francisco Giants on Thursday, Volpe is sure to hear some of the biggest cheers of any player to take the field.