In establishing himself as one of many brightest prospects within the main leagues, Alex Verdugo just isn’t following within the footsteps of his father.
His father performed ball as a child, however not for lengthy. He acquired hit within the face by a throw.
“By no means performed once more,” Verdugo stated. “He by no means went again. He didn’t have any curiosity anymore.”
Verdugo, 21, represented the Dodgers within the Futures Recreation on Sunday. Baseball America ranks him because the Dodgers’ No. 2 prospect, behind pitcher Walker Buehler, and the No. 35 prospect within the recreation.
He ranks fourth within the Pacific Coast League with a .346 batting common, has walked greater than he has struck out, and has reached base in 32 consecutive video games.
He can run. He’s an distinctive defensive outfielder. He might assist the Dodgers, positive, however who’s to say they want any assist proper now?
“The staff is on a roll. It seems like they’re by no means going to lose,” Verdugo stated. “It’s unbelievable.”
The Dodgers have one of the best report within the main leagues. However they might use an outfielder that bats proper-handed — Verdugo doesn’t — a aid pitcher, and perhaps a beginning pitcher. The Dodgers haven’t made the World Collection since 1988, and Verdugo could possibly be a major buying and selling chip to assist get them there.
So might pitcher Yadier Alvarez, the Dodgers’ $sixteen million bonus child from Cuba. Alvarez began the Futures Recreation for the World Group and took the loss, giving up one run on two hits and a stroll in a single inning. His fastball was clocked at ninety four-ninety seven mph.
The one Angels prospect within the recreation, Jaime Barria – a $600,000 bonus child from Panama – pitched a scoreless inning, strolling one and putting out two. His fastball was clocked at ninety two-ninety four mph.
Verdugo struck out and grounded out in two plate appearances.
“Lots of people from again residence are like, ‘Man, I heard you’re about to get traded,’ ” Verdugo stated. “You by no means know. It might occur. We all the time mess with one another at triple-A: ‘No, you’re getting traded! No, you’re!’ We simply attempt not to consider it, however it’s behind our minds.
“I hope I’m given the chance to go up there and assist the group win. I feel I can convey so much to them. I may also help in each facet of the sport.”
Verdugo can be a pure match for the Dodgers off the sector, too. He’s a Mexican-American who grew up in Tucson however honored his father’s heritage by enjoying for Staff Mexico within the World Baseball Basic.
His teammates there included Adrian Gonzalez, and he’d like to comply with Gonzalez and Fernando Valenzuela — and perhaps injured pitching prospect Julio Urias — as gamers of Mexican descent representing the Dodgers.
“I simply need to comply with of their footsteps,” Verdugo stated. “I need to get a chance to try this.”
Verdugo goes means again with Cody Bellinger. The 2 have been teammates at triple-A Oklahoma Metropolis this previous April, and roommates within the Arizona rookie league three years in the past.
“He’s an excellent roommate,” Verdugo stated. “He’ll get sick quite a bit and begin sniffling on a regular basis, however he’ll pop some Nyquil and simply be knocked out. He’s a very nice man.”
It has not escaped Verdugo’s discover that the Dodgers are fifty two-18 since Bellinger’s arrival — a .743 profitable proportion, higher than the .714 profitable proportion of the 1927 New York Yankees, extensively billed as the best staff in main league historical past.
“Cody went up there and sparked it, and it’s nonetheless a spark. They haven’t let it exit,” Verdugo stated. “It’s fairly particular to observe.
“It’s enjoyable to observe him succeed. It’s enjoyable to observe him be an all-star. Once I get my alternative, hopefully I’ll take it and run with it like he did.”
Comply with Invoice Shaikin on Twitter @BillShaikin