Yankees’ Anthony Volpe takes huge spring training opportunity seriously | Questions and answers

NEW YORK – Antoine Volpe don’t waste time. The YankeesThe top prospect and potential starting shortstop candidate plans to head to the team’s player development complex in Tampa before the end of the month. He wants to be as ready as possible for Day 1 of his first major league spring training to give himself the best opportunity to crack the Yankees roster.

Yeah, Volpe heard that owner Hal Steinbrenner said he would get “a shot” to prove himself. Yes, he heard the manager Aaron Boon say he expects “competition” at shortstop.

“That’s kind of why I wanted to start pretty early for my offseason,” Volpe said after speaking to students at Community School 55 in the Bronx on Friday afternoon. “I want to treat spring training like opening day.”

NJ Advance Media caught up with Volpe – Baseball America’s 10th overall prospect and Delbarton High School graduate — for a few minutes after the event. Read more about Volpe’s journey to encourage Bronx students here..

Q: How was your off-season?

volpe: It’s been really, really good to get up here and get to work. I took a bit of time, but I closed the book and re-evaluated last season, then I reopened the book to prepare for next year and start this preparation.

Q: How do you rate last season?

volpe: It was honestly a great season. Just a lot of ups and downs and looking in the rear view mirror I learned a lot about myself physically and mentally. Where can I go when I fight. Where can I go when I succeed. I wouldn’t trade last year for anything in the world.

Q: What did you think of your first Triple-A outing?

volpe: It was awesome. It was super different from every other level I’ve been to, but not necessarily in a good or bad way. I really had the opportunity to play with guys who had real big league experience and I stayed there long enough where some guys took me under their wing. I could be a fly on the wall and just learn from them. It was a very good atmosphere up there. Not anything like the stereotypical Triple-A (environment) you imagine, but I really enjoyed the time.

Q: What are you focusing on this offseason?

volpe: Many things. With my typing, there are a lot of things. Just ironing out bad habits and then testing myself. Challenge me in every way possible so that when everything hits the fan during the season, it won’t be the first time. I will have ways that I know will help me get out of these situations and make adjustments.

Q: Owner Hal Steinbrenner and manager Aaron Boone said you’ll have a chance at spring training. How does that make you feel?

Q: Volpe: It’s awesome. It’s motivating. That’s kind of why I wanted to start early enough for my offseason. I want to treat spring training like opening day. I never really had that. We’ve had some weird spring training so far. But doing what I can here and getting down to Tampa as soon as possible has been huge. If there are live (at-bats) that I can have, I want to have them. I just want to be ready to go when spring training starts.

Q: Are you excited for this challenge?

volpe: This is what you train for. This is what you want. It feels like a once in a lifetime opportunity but, at the same time, I think for me, my answer to that is always that whenever I have a goal or a challenge, it’s to work as hard as I can or to prepare myself as much as possible. I can be ready for this. Don’t be phased. Go ahead and play. Everything else I can’t control. Just play and have fun and the season has just ended, but I can’t wait to get back there.

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Brendan Kuty can be reached at bkuty@njadvancemedia.com.

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