Dodgers News: Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo Ranked Top-40 Prospects By ESPN’s Keith Law
Dodgers News: Alex Verdugo Enjoying Arizona Fall League Despite Fatigue
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Dodgers Minor League right-hander Walker Buehler and outfielder Alex Verdugo were ranked the No. 40 and No. 31 prospects in baseball, respectively, by ESPN’s Keith Law. Right-handed pitching prospect Yadier Alvarez was previously rated No. 46 by Law.

Buehler was selected 24th overall by the Dodgers in the 2015 Draft. He then proceeded to sign with the club well below slot value, which was another surprise on top of the right-hander slipping out of the top-15 picks.

However, Buehler did miss time during his junior season at Vanderbilt due to a sore elbow, and the Dodgers announced three weeks after signing their top pick in the 2015 Draft that he was set to undergo Tommy John surgery.

Buehler returned to the mound last July, though only made three regular-season starts. His professional debut came with Low-A Great Lakes, where the right-hander collected two strikeouts and issued one walk in what was otherwise two spotless innings.

Buehler then pitched out of relief with the Arizona League Dodgers one month later, throwing two scoreless innings with three strikeouts. He returned to the Loons and threw one shutout inning in his next start.

The 22-year-old then pitched twice in the playoffs, including a start in the decided game of a best-of-three series that sent the Loons to the Midwest League Eastern Division Championship. Buehler didn’t factor into the decision, but he contributed two scoreless frames.

Buehler’s 2016 campaign then came to a close when he turned in three shutout innings to help the Loons pull even in the Midwest League Championship Series after dropping Game 1.

Buehler was rated the Dodgers’ sixth-best prospect for the 2017 season by Baseball Prospectus. Along with Alvarez, he reportedly was off the table in a potential Brian Dozier trade.

Verdugo was ranked the Dodgers’ No. 4 prospect by Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus. He spent last season with Double-A Tulsa, in what was his first time playing above High-A.

Verdugo hit .273/.336/.407, setting career highs with 13 home runs, 63 RBI and 44 walks in 126 games for the Drillers. He joined Triple-A Oklahoma City for the Pacific Coast League championship, and went 4-for-12 with three RBI while appearing in four games.

The 20-year-old Verdugo was then among the group of prospects sent to the Arizona Fall League. He struggled some due to fatigue, but was named to the Fall Stars Game. However, Verdugo did not participate as he joined the Mexican National Team for an exhibition series in Japan.