LAKELAND, FLA. — A year ago at this time, Anthony Volpe was preparing for his senior season as a shortstop for Delbarton High School in New Jersey.
Sunday the Yankees’ first-round pick in last June’s draft was summoned from the minor league complex to travel with the big league club to Joker Marchant Stadium for an exhibition game against the Tigers.
“During batting practice, I almost had to pinch myself,’’ said Volpe, who grounded out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning. “A couple of other guys got called up and to have these kinds of days is a lot of fun.’’
Volpe, 18, was with his mother when he got a text asking if he wanted to help out the big league club.
“I didn’t believe it,’’ said Volpe, who hit a loud foul ball deep down the left-field line in front of the ground out and didn’t play the field since he was hitting for Gary Sanchez.
Volpe, who was diagnosed with mono while playing for Pulaski (Rookie League) last season, said he is looking forward to full health in his second big league year.
“A healthy year and control what I can control and see what happens,’’ said Volpe, who hit .215 in 34 games last summer.
“I think it all contributes to the process, being in this environment and being around the guys. It provides a nice little carrot for what you are working for,’’ manager Aaron Boone said of Volpe making the trip.
“I think his heart was beating pretty fast in batting practice.”
Accompanying Volpe from the minor league facility was Oswald Peraza, a 19-year-old shortstop many in the Yankees’ organization are high on.
He went 1-for-1 with a walk.