When you have the No. 3 overall pick, it’s never too soon to take a quick peek into this year’s MLB draft. This year’s draft class is loaded with excellent hitting prospects, but is relatively weak on the pitching side.
Draft Prospects You Should Know is a new series that features prospects who the White Sox could pursue in this year’s draft. As the June draft nears, we’ll return to many of these athletes and provide updates on whether their stocks are rising (or falling).
Age listed as of Day One of the Draft (June 3).
Delbarton H.S. (Morristown, N.J.)
Baseball America 52
If Delbarton High School sounds familiar, it may be because of first round pitching prospect Jack Leiter, who goes to school there. With that said, Anthony Volpe is another Delbarton player who has the opportunity to be selected in the first day of this year’s MLB draft. While he doesn’t have the high upsides of prep phenoms Bobby Witt Jr. or C.J. Abrams, or even that of college shortstops Bryson Stott or Logan Davidson, Volpe does enough little things well to warrant first-day draft consideration.
At 5´10´´ and 182 pounds, Volpe isn’t all that imposing. He runs the 60-yard-dash in an above-average 6.62 seconds according to Perfect Game, so he’s got the speed right now to play shortstop at the professional level. At this point, his defense ranks higher than his offense as he’s an extremely polished defender with advanced footwork and balance, a quick transfer and release, smooth and fluid actions, and a decent (but not great) arm that could be useful anywhere in the infield.
Offensively, Volpe is a fairly polished gap-hitter with a short and compact swing. He is adept at hitting line drives through the middle of the diamond and in the gaps, but concern exists whether he can hit for power. Without that power and with good but not blazing speed, Volpe may end up profiling more as a utility infielder in his professional career. If he could harness his strength, he could certainly establish himself as a future starter at second or short.
Volpe is verbally committed to traditional SEC powerhouse Vanderbilt. Judging by Baseball America and FanGraphs rankings, Volpe is considered late first round or second round material. With the Sox picking at No. 45, it’s unlikely that the Sox would consider drafting Volpe there due to his relatively limited upside. Provided the Sox hadn’t picked a shortstop in the first two rounds, would the Sox consider him in the third? Perhaps, but they would have to pay over-slot money to lure him from his commitment to the Commodores. Volpe’s closest comp in the White Sox system may be Danny Mendick.
Here’s a video of Volpe in the Under Armour All-American Workout in Chicago last year, courtesy of 2080 Baseball:
In place of the long list of Draft Prospects You Should Know with story links that usually resides here, just click the “Draft Prospects You Should Know” on our page, below the main stories, to access a list of every player so far profiled.