NEW YORK – Looking to the Garden State for their first-round pick, the Yankees chose shortstop Anthony Volpe out of Morristown’s Delbarton School.
Volpe, who resides in Watchung, was selected 30th overall in Monday’s First-Year Player Draft.
The right-handed hitting Volpe has a verbal commitment to Vanderbilt, as does his more widely known teammate, right-hander Jack Leiter – the son of former Mets and Yankees lefty Al Leiter.
Volpe, 18, is the Yankees’ first New Jersey high school player taken with their first selection since third baseman Eric Duncan out of Seton Hall Prep in 2003.
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Per MLB.com, his projected signing bonus would be $2.37 million should he decide to play professionally.
At 5-foot-11, 180 pounds, Volpe is considered a plus defender and an all-fields line drive hitter.
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During MLB Network’s draft coverage, analyst and former big-league general manager Dan O’Dowd (who grew up in Montville) said he “loved the kid’’ and praised Volpe’s instincts for the game.
“He’s always in the right place at the right time, he’s an exceptional defensive infielder,’’ said O’Dowd. “Great glove-to-hand transfer.’’
Offensively, “he’s a solid average-to-plus runner, and I like the bat. He’s not undersized for me because there’s strength in the body.’’
Projecting ahead, O’Dowd compared Volpe to a “Jay Bell, Michael Young’’ type. “I think this is an exceptional pick at this point and time in the draft.’’
A former Gold Glove and Silver Slugger award winner, Bell is currently the Yankees’ manager at Class AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Young was a seven-time All-Star and a Gold Glove award winner.
Last year, the Yankees went with Georgia high school catcher Anthony Seigler with their first-round pick (23rd overall).
The last time the Yankees chose a shortstop in the first round, they selected Kyle Holder in 2015 (30th overall) out of the University of San Diego. The Yanks used their first selection that year (16th overall) to draft right-hander James Kaprielian out of UCLA.
And the last high school shortstop the Yankees selected in the first round was Cito Culver (2010 draft, 32nd overall), who stalled in their minor league system.
The Yankees still have two more selections on the draft’s first day at No. 38 and No. 67.