The Los Angeles Dodgers farm system has been among the best in baseball in recent years, constantly churning out prospects such as Joc Pederson, Corey Seager, Julio Urias and Cody Bellinger who have contributed in the Majors.
Among the prospects who may next begin to make an impact with the Dodgers is outfielder Alex Verdugo. He’s excelled at every Minor League level since being selected by Los Angeles in the second round of the 2014 Draft.
At just 21 years old, Verdugo is shining in the Pacific Coast League as one of the youngest players on the circuit. According to Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group, Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi views Verdugo as MLB-caliber or close to it:
“He’s a terrific talent. And frankly, he’s big-league ready or close to being big-league ready,” Zaidi said.
Verdugo is batting .341/.412/.460 with 20 doubles, four triples, three home runs and 47 RBIs in 82 games with Triple-A Oklahoma City. He amassed a career-best 20-game hitting streak that was snapped July 1, and has reached base safely in 35 consecutive games entering play Monday.
Verdugo recently had an opportunity to showcase his talents on a national level, as he played for the World Team in the All-Star Futures Game. Verdugo was also among the Oklahoma City Dodgers named to the 2017 Triple-A All-Star Game.
The breakout season has garnered attention in the form of trade speculation, as the Detroit Tigers reportedly have the outfielder as someone they covet in a potential trade with the Dodgers.
In addition, the San Diego Padres were said to have asked for Verdugo to be included in a possible trade for Brad Hand.
Zaidi recently stated he doesn’t anticipate the team moving Verdugo ahead of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, pointing to the organization’s stance with Pederson, Seager, Urias and Bellinger, among others, over the past few years.