There will be enormous expectations for new Yankees shortstop Anthony Volpe.
Mike Francesa sees no issue with that.
“Who cares what they are? Make them whatever you want them to be,” the WFAN legend said on his latest BetRivers podcast. “Make him rookie of the year, make him whatever you want him to be. And let’s see what he does.”
Volpe, 21, is expected to start at shortstop for the Bombers on Opening Day. The New Jersey native and Delbarton product was informed he made the team Sunday, capping a torrid spring. He is considered by many the next great homegrown Yankees star and the spiritual heir apparent to Derek Jeter, and he is being treated as such.
MORE: Projecting Yankees’ Opening Day lineup with Volpe at shortstop
Case in point: The Yankees’ social media blast after he made the club. And Francesa is a voice worth listening to as Volpe begins his career, given his status as one of New York sports’ most influential voices and historians.
“He has shown power and speed, he gets on base, he has shown what he can be as an offensive player, he makes the plays at shortstop,” Francesa said. “We’ll see what happens. Don’t expect crazy numbers this first year. But let’s see if he proves he belongs right away.
“That’s the key. You’re not bringing him up here to sit on the bench. So he’s got to prove he belongs. He’s got to be able to make the plays defensively at shortstop, because it is shortstop. He’s got to make the plays and then obviously in a year where there are going to be a lot more stolen bases, he has shown speed and on-base percentage and power and (he has to) bring that spark to the lineup.”
James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @jameskratch.