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‘if you’re the best player, it shouldn’t matter your age’

Feb 26, 2023; Dunedin, Florida, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Anthony Volpe (77) celebrates with his teammates after scoring a run in the third inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at TD Ballpark. / Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Volpe‘s impressive spring training is drawing a lot of attention including from Yankees captain Aaron Judge.

Speaking with’s Bryan Hoch this week, Judge talked about the Yankees’ top prospect and whether he should make the Opening Day roster in a few weeks.

“I think he’s got all the makeup tools,” Judge said. “He checks a lot of boxes — defensively, offensively. He’s a tough at-bat. He’s got the speed, which is a big factor now in the game. My thing has always been, if you’re the best player, it shouldn’t matter your age. You should be up helping the New York Yankees. It doesn’t matter if you’re 19 or 41. If you’re the best guy for the job, you should be playing.”

In six games this spring, Volpe is hitting .353 (6-for-17) with an OBP of .450 and an OPS of 1.097. He also has a home run and three stolen bases.

The 21-year-old is making it difficult for the manager Aaron Boone and the rest of the organization to choose their Opening Day shortstop. Going into spring training, shortstop was a position that they had to figure out after incumbent infielder Isaiah Kiner-Falefa had trouble on the field last season. So far this spring, IKF is just 1-for-11 with an RBI and a stolen base.

And then there’s Oswald Peraza who had a cup of coffee with the club late last season where he impressed the team enough to make the postseason roster. Unfortunately, he’s had an equally rough spring, batting just 2-for-9 with one stolen base.

For Boone and the Yankees, there are still three weeks to figure out who they want to go with on their roster. It’s unlikely that Volpe makes the roster since he’s had such a short time at the Triple-A level, but it’s becoming less and less outlandish that the New Jersey native can make the team, even if it’s off the bench.

One thing is for sure, Volpe is meeting those high expectations from the organization and the fans and it’s gone a long way for Boone.

“I’ve got high expectations, and [Volpe’s] come in and get after it,” Boone told reporters earlier this month. “It’s in line with the reputation he’s earned in our organization. He works hard. You can tell he loves the game. I think of our captain, Aaron Judge — one of the things that stands out is he loves the game. So you get into the little things, watching and looking to find a little bit of an edge — he’s always doing that.”

Volpe will have another chance to impress the team when the Yankees host the Boston Red Sox on Thursday at 1:05 pm

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