Introducing the Newest Red Sox, Alex Verdugo
Updated: Feb 10, 2020
Red Sox Nation, we knew this trade was inevitable but it did not make it sting any less. Similar any blockbuster, this trade is complex and has a lot of moving parts. My goal is to write about all the different angles of the trade. The Red Sox received three new players in this deal and I will be writing an introduction post for each of them. This post is an introduction to Alex Verdugo. A cool fact about the newest Red Sox, he was a fan of his new team growing up with Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz being his favorite players. Now he has a chance to follow in their footsteps.
"For a young player, Verdugo probably has the best instincts for the game of any young player I've ever been around. It's incredible, in the batter's box he has a special ability, his bat to ball ratio is elite. He continues to grow year over year"- Dodgers President of Baseball Operations, Andrew Friedman
The key player the Red Sox received in this trade is 23 year old Dodger Outfielder, Alex Verdugo and learn the name. He is under team control for five seasons, making 600,000 for the next two seasons before becoming arbitration eligible after the 2021 season. Dodgers Manager, Dave Roberts has praised the young outfielder for his enthusiasm and confidence and it showed in his time in the majors. Verdugo’s 3.1 WAR in 2019 is very impressive considering his small sample size. In 106 big leagues games, he saw great success at the plate and in the outfield. He recorded a .294 batting average and an OPS of .817 to go along with twelve home runs. Despite being a line drive hitter, Verdugo has the potential to hit over 20 home runs according to Baseball America. Scouts also love Verdugo's ability to use the whole field and believes he has the potential to consistently be a .300 hitter in the big leagues. Defensively the Red Sox outfield is in great shape. Verdugo is an above average defender but base runners beware Verdugo's best tool is his arm as he had six outfield assists in half a season. He is a really talented player who will make an impact in 2020 but there is a risk for Boston in acquiring him.
There have been reports that Alex Verdugo was immature when the Dodgers first drafted him. According to Baseball America his maturity has long drawn scorn from coaches and teammates citing a 2017 incident where he overslept and was late to the ballpark that day.
Former Dodgers Assistant Director of Player Development Nick Francona stated Verdugo was guilty of poor judgment of people he hung out at the age of eighteen and believes he has matured. He is believed to have matured over the past few seasons and has been praised by several coaches and teammates. This appears to be extremely troublesome to Boston media and fans. In reality, they are unhappy with trading Mookie Betts and that they are unsure of what the return holds. Time will tell if the Red Sox got a good return for Mookie Betts,