The Greensboro Grasshoppers’ Greensboro Coliseum was a busy place on Sunday, as minor-league infielder Anthony Volpe, the New York Yankees‘ top prospect, inched closer to joining the 30-30 club. Home plate umpire Tyler Witte dashed fans’ hopes rather quickly, though.
Volpe blasted an opposite-field three-run homer to extend his team’s lead in the fourth inning, but the 20-year-old’s joyous moment ended when Witte ejected him — for no apparent reason — while rounding third base.
While Volpe looked to have made a comment in Witte’s direction after dapping up a teammate, it’s hard to credit that to anything other than excitement for the big play he just made. Witte proved earlier in the game he was running a tight ship, however, as he ejected a teammate of Volpe’s in left fielder Elijah Dunham.
Fans who attended the game to see Volpe did get more than their money’s worth despite his five-inning absence. Hudson Valley scored a season-high 23 runs — including a 14-run ninth inning that featured two grand slams — to defeat the Greensboro Grasshoppers by a whopping 19 runs.
Volpe, a Watchung, N.J native, signed with the Yankees in June 2019 but didn’t play last season as the COVID-19 pandemic forced the minor league season’s cancellation.
This year, Volpe has made up for lost time, batting .294 with a 4.22 on-base percentage and 1.027 OPS with the Low-A Tampa Tarpons and High-A Renegades. Volpe, who has smacked 24 home runs and swiped 29 stolen bases on the year, has 13 games left to enter the prestigious 30-30 club.
Witte, apparently, isn’t interested in seeing Volpe join the club.