Despite recent graduations and trades, the Los Angeles Dodgers continue to boast one of the league’s best farm systems for the 2018 season. Their top positional prospect, Alex Verdugo, in particular, has garnered high praise from multiple publications.
Verdugo made his mLB debut as a September call-up last season, but didn’t accumulate enough plate appearances to lose his rookie status. Heading into 2018, MLB Pipeline ranked him as the 10th-best outfield prospect in baseball.
Verdugo was a second-round draft pick by the Dodgers in 2014 out of Sahuaro High School in Tucson, Ariz. He immediately broke out at the plate in rookie ball, and began to rise in many top prospect lists as a result.
This past season, Verdugo saw the bulk of his time with Triple-A Oklahoma City. He proceeded to bat .314/.389/.436/ with 27 doubles, four triples, six home runs and 62 RBI across 495 trips to the plate (117 games).
With that success, Verdugo earned a promotion to Los Angeles, though he experienced some growing pains along the way. In 25 plate appearances over 15 games, he hit .174/.240/.304 with four hits (one home run) and two walks.
Earlier this offseason, Verdugo credited Justin Turner and other veterans for helping him get accustomed to the Major League lifestyle. He also prioritized gaining more muscle this winter in an effort to hit for more power.
The 21-year-old figures to get another look during Spring Training, where he’ll challenge for a roster spot and possibly even the starting left field job.
He’ll face plenty of competition, though, as the Dodgers already have Kiké Hernandez, Matt Kemp, Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig, Chris Taylor and Andrew Toles in the outfield fold.