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Yankees’ new top prospect Anthony Volpe’s stock rapidly rising

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In the dog days of August, with a month left in an already successful season, Anthony Volpe has his sights set on one thing: making sure his team gets to the playoffs.

Currently, that means the Hudson Valley Renegades. A few years down the road, it could be the New York Yankees.

As an increasing buzz surrounds the 20-year-old shortstop out of New Jersey, who has crushed his first full season of professional baseball and zoomed up prospect lists along the way, Volpe has his blinders on.

“I want to win the High-A championship,” Volpe told The Post on Friday. “That’s kind of what’s on all our minds right now.”

Elsewhere, the talk about Volpe involves his sudden rise to become the Yankees’ top prospect and No. 15 prospect in baseball, according to MLB.com’s new rankings, released this week. It involves the .305/.438/.617 slash line, 20 home runs and 28 steals he had posted this season, in 85 games split between Low-A and High-A, entering Saturday. It involves the lifelong Yankees fan, the club’s 2019 first-round pick, taking a few more steps toward realizing his dream.

But for those who know Volpe, and have seen his work up close, his standout season doesn’t come as much of a surprise.

Top Yankees prospect Anthony Volpe celebrates after hitting a walk-off homer to lead the Hudson Valley Renegades to a victory over the Brooklyn Cyclones.
Top Yankees prospect Anthony Volpe celebrates after hitting a walk-off homer to lead the Hudson Valley Renegades to a victory over the Brooklyn Cyclones.
Robert Sabo

“You talk about somebody who eats, sleeps, drinks baseball from a very young age, it’s Anthony,” Al Leiter told The Post. “You talk about character, what an unbelievable person, intelligent, hard worker, cares. Super high level of give-a-[expletive]. I can’t say enough nice things about this kid.

“I would take [26] of these guys and figure out where to put them in the field.”


Leiter speaks from experience. Not only has he walked in Volpe’s shoes, as a New Jersey-bred high draft pick (second round) of the Yankees in 1984 on the way to a 19-year MLB career, he also has known Volpe most of the younger man’s life.

Volpe and Leiter’s son Jack — who was selected No. 2 overall by the Rangers in this year’s draft — have been close since meeting on an Upper East Side playground in the early 2000s, when Leiter was still pitching for the Mets.

Growing up in Manhattan, with Derek Jeter as his favorite player, Volpe played youth baseball through The Baseball Center, located on the Upper West Side, before his family moved to New Jersey. There, he reunited with Jack Leiter when they both attended Delbarton School and won a state championship together in 2019, three days after Volpe was drafted 30th overall by the Yankees.

They also were playing together in the 2017 underclass Area Code Games when Yankees Northeast scouting supervisor Matt Hyde got his first close look at Volpe. Hyde spent five games watching Volpe from the dugout and his full package quickly became clear.

“He was a very high-energy player who not only made those around him better, but he had the knack of coming up with the big hit, the big stolen base, the big play defensively,” Hyde said.

Volpe played for the Yankees’ Area Code team the following summer, which allowed amateur scouting director Damon Oppenheimer to see more of him up close and only increased the organization’s comfort level with him. Then Volpe’s power and speed began to emerge in his draft year, making him an even more attractive pick.

“To see this all come together, this was everything we hoped that it would be from what we saw that senior year at Delbarton,” said Hyde, who credited Oppenheimer, special assistant Jim Hendry, national cross-checker Brian Barber and scout Jeff Deardorff for a “total team effort” in scouting Volpe.


Volpe and Jack Leiter were back on a field together last summer, when Volpe was robbed of a minor league season and Leiter of a full season at Vanderbilt because of COVID-19.

Hudson Valley Renegades celebrate with Anthony Volpe after his game-winning blast.
Hudson Valley Renegades celebrate with Anthony Volpe after his game-winning blast.
Robert Sabo

Leiter pitched to Volpe in simulated games at Delbarton, with iron sharpening iron. By August, though, Leiter was headed back to school and Volpe saw the writing on the wall that there would be no organized baseball for him to play in the rest of the year.

Instead, he poured himself into working on his swing so that it would be ready by the time he got the chance to play again. Volpe got connected with Jason Lefkowitz, a former scout-turned-hitting coach based in Westchester County.

Volpe drove from his home in Watchung, N.J., to Lefkowitz’s facility Monday through Friday every week from August through February to refine his right-handed swing and make it more efficient and repeatable.

Lefkowitz estimated that Volpe took close to 10,000 swings wearing a K-Vest, a biomechanics device that tracks swing movements. They had plenty of time for trial and error, but the focus was on consistency and efficiency, not how hard the ball was coming off his bat.

Every day, Volpe would go from three-hour hitting sessions with Lefkowitz to two-hour training sessions with Mike Baker, his longtime strength coach.

“That was this kid’s life for the entire pandemic,” Lefkowitz said. “He took ownership of his career at age 19. It was incredible.”

Yankees coaches were also in constant contact with Volpe to check in on his progress and help however they could from afar, in addition to Dillon Lawson, the club’s hitting coordinator, keeping in touch with Lefkowitz.

The work was a grind, but Volpe enjoyed it. Still, there were nights when he caught himself thinking about how he should be in his third at-bat of a game somewhere, perhaps Charleston, S.C., instead of sitting at home.

But he found solace in the hope that the work would eventually pay off.

“I felt like a couple years down the line, I’d be able to look back on that [year without games] and really be thankful for it and look at it as laying the foundation for more improvements in the future,” Volpe said.


After getting a brief taste of pro ball in 2019 — he hit .215 with two home runs and a .704 OPS in 34 games with Rookie League Pulaski before his season was cut short by mononucleosis — Volpe reported to spring training this year ready to put his hard work into action.

Anthony Volpe signs autographs for fans before a recent Hudson Valley Renegades game.
Anthony Volpe signs autographs for fans before a recent Hudson Valley Renegades game.
Robert Sabo

Listed at 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds, he began the year as the Yankees’ No. 11 prospect, per MLB.com, and not included in the top-100 overall prospects. He was assigned to Low-A Tampa to start the season and got off to a hot start, doubling in each of his first four games.

By the middle of July, after hitting .302 with 12 home runs, five triples, 21 steals and a 1.078 OPS in 54 games, his work in Tampa was done. He was promoted to Hudson Valley and has hardly skipped a beat. His control of the strike zone has been one of his biggest adjustments: He had 51 walks and 43 strikeouts in Tampa to 15 walks and 34 strikeouts in Hudson Valley.

“It just seems like every at-bat, he steps in the box right now and he knows he’s going to win,” Lefkowitz said.

More than anything this season, Volpe’s power has popped. He chalked it up to his offseason work instead of any increased focus on launch angle or exit velocity.

Anthony Volpe celebrates after his game-winning blast in the Hudson Valley Renegades' win over the Brooklyn Cyclones.
Anthony Volpe celebrates after his game-winning blast in the Hudson Valley Renegades’ win over the Brooklyn Cyclones.
Robert Sabo

“For me, it’s been the power to dead center, power to right field that he’s shown here,” Hudson Valley manager Dan Fiorito said. “I remember seeing him a couple years ago and his bat-to-ball skills impressed me so much, along with so many other coaches. But just to see the power take the strides it has, has been a huge jump.”

Fiorito also lauded Volpe’s baseball instincts, which help him make a play every night that can change the game, and his strong makeup. The latter, which Fiorito attributed to Volpe’s family, has helped keep him focused as the expectations rise around him.

“At only 20 years old, to have all these expectations and to go about his work on an everyday basis and how he handles adversity has been as professional as it can be,” Fiorito said.

As Volpe has tapped further into his potential this season, future projections for him vary, including whether he can stick at shortstop — a position that has been something of a revolving door for the Yankees since Jeter retired in 2014.

“Everyday player at a minimum,” said a scout who has seen Volpe play this season. “He can hit. [Second baseman] only though.”

Fiorito sees it differently.

“He has all the potential to be a great big league shortstop,” he said. “Defensively, he makes some incredible plays and dominates the routine play.”


The promotion to Hudson Valley also brought Volpe much closer to home and his support system. He usually has at least one of his parents at every home game, and at a recent game in Brooklyn, there were 238 members of the extended Volpe family in attendance.

“That might be understating it,” Volpe said with a chuckle.

Volpe’s family and agent also offered quality advice ahead of the MLB trade deadline to “just shut everything off” as his name came up in trade rumors. While a handful of Volpe’s teammates were moved, he remained with the organization as a big part of its future.

Thursday, he joined the 20/20 club by crushing a walk-off home run to lift Hudson Valley to a win over Brooklyn. It was another win to get the Renegades closer to the postseason as they entered the weekend tied with Greensboro for the second and final playoff spot in High-A East. The top two teams play for the championship at the end of September, and Volpe hopes to be there.

Some day, that playoff chase could come in The Bronx. For now, Volpe is making the most of it happening in Wappingers Falls, N.Y.

“It’s like every kid’s dream growing up in New York City and being a diehard Yankees fan to one day be able to represent the Yankees and wear the pinstripes,” Volpe said. “The draft and everything was definitely an awesome moment for me and my family to tour the stadium and do all that stuff.

“Now, this is the fun part where you get to play and interact with your teammates and work with your teammates so you guys can all hopefully one day play for the real Yankees. That’s obviously the light at the end of the tunnel, the long-term goal, but it’s been really fun to be here every day and be competing every day again and play for the Hudson Valley Renegades.”

— Additional reporting by Ken Davidoff

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What Time Will ‘Riverdale’ Season 6 Be on Netflix?

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The season finale of Riverdale aired in late July on The CW. Notice we said season finale? Thankfully, the beloved series will return for a seventh season, but, unfortunately, Season 7 will be the final installment of Riverdale.

If you already streamed the current season, make sure to read Alex Zalben’s interview with Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa on Decider. If you’re waiting to binge Season 6 on Netflix, well, you better clear your calendar because all 22 episodes are about to drop on the streamer. What time will the sixth season of Riverdale debut on Netflix? What time does Netflix release shows? Here’s everything you need to know.

WHEN IS THE RIVERDALE SEASON 6 NETFLIX RELEASE DATE?

Riverdale Season 6 premieres Sunday, August 7 on Netflix.

HOW MANY EPISODES ARE IN RIVERDALE SEASON 6?

The sixth season of Riverdale consists of 22 episodes.

WHAT TIME DOES NETFLIX RELEASE NEW SHOWS?

Netflix releases new episodes at 3:00 a.m. ET/12:00 a.m. PT.

WHAT TIME WILL RIVERDALE SEASON 6 BE ON NETFLIX?

Netflix is based out of California, so Riverdale Season 6 will be available to stream at 12:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (3:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time) beginning Sunday, August 7. If the clock strikes 12:00 (or 3:00 a.m. for folks on the East Coast) and you don’t see the new episodes, give it a moment, hit refresh, and then enjoy the show!

WILL THERE BE A SEASON 7 OF RIVERDALE?

Yes! Decider recently covered that very topic.

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Actress Anne Heche Suffers Severe Burns After Crashing Car Into Los Angeles Home

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Actress Anne Heche, known for her roles in such films as Donnie Brasco, Volcano and I Know What You Did Last Summer, was involved in a fiery car crash in the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles on Friday.

According to TMZ, Heche was driving a blue Mini Cooper and had first crashed into the garage of an apartment complex. Residents of the apartment complex tried to get her out of the vehicle but she backed up and sped off.

Footage of Heche speeding down the streets of her neighborhood had been obtained by TMZ as well as her initial encounter at the apartment complex.

In the first clip, you can hear her car crash towards the end. It has been reported that the actress crashed into someone’s home, causing her vehicle and the house to erupt into flames. Heche suffered severe burns and was resisting being taken away in a stretcher. You can also view footage of this via the TMZ article.

It has not been confirmed whether alcohol has been involved in the incident since her condition prevents doctors from performing any tests to determine if she was driving under the influence. She is currently intubated in the hospital but expected to live.

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These are the vulgar license-plate requests the DMV has rejected

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Stay CL4SSY, New York!

The state Department of Motor Vehicles nixed 3,752 requests for vanity license plates in the last three years because it deemed them too raunchy, radical or simply ridiculous.

New York’s personalized plates go for $60 initially, and then $31.25 annually for renewal. You can get any plate as long as no one else has it and it’s not offensive.

Odds are a request for a plate that marks a wedding anniversary or shows your allegiance to a team — like METS86 — will pass muster with the DMV gatekeepers.

Vulgarity won’t get you to first base.

So plates with the phrase LFGM — the acronym for Pete Alonso’s “Let’s F–king Go Mets” rallying cry — did not make the cut.

And you won’t see anyone driving around with the custom plates MILFDAD, AS5M4N and WLHUNG.

Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
New York DMV
NYC123
New York state Department of Motor Vehicles denied more than 3.5 thousand requests for license plates deemed inappropriate.
New York DMV
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
New York DMV

The DMV also put NICEBUNS, FATFANNY, GOTAPOOP and BENDOVER in the rear-view mirror.

One player unsuccessfully tried to score the plate YESDADDY, to no avail.

The DMV also shot down such dark requests as DEADGIRL, GENOC1DE, S8TAN, DETONATE and MURDERM3.

“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
New York DMV
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
New York DMV
BOOBIE is prohibited.
BOOBIE is prohibited.
New York DMV

Getting political is a dead end too — FJOEBIDN, FDTRUMP and CNNLIES were nixed.

LUDEDUDE, NARCO, GOT METH and BLUNT also went up in smoke.

Staten Island attorney Bill Dertinger said his blue 1995 Jaguar SJS was tagged with ESQLTD after his company and his 2014 Porsche had the plate GHOSTGTS because the sleek sportscar was white.

“The plates can make you stand out — which can be a curse or a blessing,” the 54-year-old Dertinger said. “Make sure you don’t cut anybody off.”

A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
New York DMV
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
New York DMV
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
New York DMV

There must be a New York Jets fan playing referee at the DMV because a request for the seemingly innocent plate GASE was sidelined. Ex-Jets head coach Adam Gase had an offensive 9-23 win-loss record during his forgettable two-year tenure.

The DMV would not reveal who gives the final yea or nay.

“The DMV reviews all custom license plate requests and works hard to ensure that any combinations that may be considered objectionable are rejected,” said agency spokesman Tim O’Brien.

“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
New York DMV
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
New York DMV

He said guidelines on what plate combinations are restricted can be found on the DMV website: https://dmv.ny.gov/learn-about-personalized-plates. Approximately 50,000 personalized and custom plates are sold per year, O’Brien said.

Bagged Tags

The state DMV has rejected 3,752 requests for custom license plates in the last three years because it deemed them potentially offensive. Here are some:

YESDADDY

FJOEBIDN

FDTRUMP

GLOCKS

FLYMOFO

BOOBIE

AS5M4N

BUDLIGHT

DEADGIRL

SUM8ITCH

GENOC1DE

S8TAN

CNNLIES

DETONATE

MURDERM3

MILFDAD

WLHUNG

Source: NYS DMV

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