“He just had such an ability to make things happen and be part of impactful plays that helps his team win,” Hyde said. “It was every day, it seemed like he’d do three things to help the team win. Either make a great play defensively, come up with a clutch hit, steal a base — he was always in the middle of the action.”
Volpe admitted he was “partial to the Yankees scout,” having grown up a fan of the team, but he appreciated Hyde the more he got to know him.
Likewise, the more Hyde and the Yankees saw Volpe, the more he climbed up their draft board.
With him based in their backyard, they scouted him heavily, but they also saw him around the country.
All of the Yankees scouts who were in attendance — about 15 of them — had a text chain going, and every time Volpe was on deck, Hyde alerted the group.
There were games going on at the same time across 14 fields at the complex, but when Hyde’s texts landed — “Volpe on deck, Field Blue 4 … Volpe on deck, Red 3” — the scouts would jump in their golf carts and get to where he was playing.
“I just kept following him around, watching him play,” Hyde said. “I don’t know how productive I was watching anybody else because I was on top of every time he was on deck and letting our people know.”
The Yankees got to know Volpe better than any organization during the pre-draft process, but Hyde was still concerned that he might not last long enough for them to take him with the 30th overall pick in 2019.
Fortunately for the Yankees, he did, and the Yankees were able to sign Volpe away from his scholarship to Vanderbilt.
“I think the opportunity to be a New York Yankee, at the end of the day, is what was really in his heart to do,” Hyde said.
Less than four years later, Volpe will don pinstripes for the first time on Thursday.
After beating out Oswald Peraza and Isiah Kiner-Falefa for the shortstop job with a strong spring, Volpe is poised to be a dynamic addition to the Yankees’ lineup, just as Hyde had envisioned .
“It just has been so much fun to see him do things that I’ve seen him do since he was in 10th grade,” said Hyde, who paid close attention to the shortstop competition. “Just making big plays, making things happen. Really fun to see him be able to do it in that environment.”
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