|Anthony Volpe receiving a watch along with the James P. Dawson Award on Monday from MLB.com's Bryan Hoch. @Yankees.|
One day after he was named the Yankees Opening Day starting shortstop, Anthony Vople was honored with the James P. Dawson Award for being the most outstanding rookie in spring training. He received a watch from Betteridge Jewelers in conjuntion with the award.
The award was named in honor of James P. Dawson (1896-1953), who began a 45-year career with the New York Times as a copy boy in 1908. Eight years later, he became the boxing editor and covered boxing and baseball until his passing in 1953. The first Dawson Award was presented in 1956, and is voted on by the Yankees beat writers.
Volpe, 21 years old, was hitting .314 (16-for-51) with a .417 on-base percentage and a .647 slugging percentage, with three home runs, five RBI, eight walks, 13 runs scored, five stolen bases, and one triple in 17 spring training games through Sunday.
The Watchung, New Jersey, native entered this season as the Yankees organization's No. 1 prospect, according to Baseball America and MLB Pipeline. He is also ranked the No. 5 overall prospect in Major League Baseball by Baseball America, and No. 14 overall by MLB Pipeline.
The first Dawson Award was presented in 1956 to rookie Norm Siebern by Yankees Manager Casey Stengel in St. Petersburg, Florida, at the conclusion of spring training. Two winners of the honor, Tony Kubek in 1957 and Tom Tresh in 1962, won the American League "Rookie of the Year" Award in the same season.
Volpe will be the youngest player in a Yankee starting lineup on Opening Day since Derek Jeter in 1996. The interesting thing is that, like Volpe, Jeter won a shortstop battle in spring training, but pitcher Mark Hutton won the Dawson Award in 1996.
Winners of the James P. Dawson Award from 1997 on are: C Jorge Posada in 1997, INF Homer Bush in 1998, None selected in 1999 and 2000, INF Alfonso Soriano in 2001, INF Nick Johnson in 2002, OF Hideki Matsui in 2003, OF Bubba Crosby in 2004, INF Andy Phillips in 2005, INF Eric Duncan in 2006, P Kei Igawa in 2007, INF/OF Shelley Duncan in 2008, OF Brett Gardner in 2009, OF Jon Weber in 2010, P Manny Banuelos in 2011, P David Phelps in 2012, P Vidal Nuno in 2013, P Masahiro Tanaka in 2014, P Slade Heathcott in 2015, P Johnny Barbato in 2016, INF Gleyber Torres in 2017, INF Miguel Andujar in 2018, P Stephen Tarpley in 2019, P Clarke Schmidt in 2020, P Deivi Garcia in 2021, P Clarke Schmidt in 2022, and INF Anthony Volpe in 2023.
Notes: Three of the winners were Japanese professionals who were brought in as free agents, but deemed rookies in Mahor League Baseball: Matsui, Igawa, and Tanaka; and Schmidt won it twice, in 2020 and '22 because 2020's spring training was cut short by the pandemic and then a very brief one was conducted when the season commenced in July.