OF Alex Verdugo — MLB Pipeline Rank: 2 (23 overall)
Alex Verdugo is the best position player prospect in the Dodgers farm system and is the second-best prospect overall. Only Walker Buehler is ahead of Verdugo in the team’s system, however, Verdugo is arguably more big league ready than Buehler right now. Although Verdugo struggled in his September call-up last season, his talent at the plate is undeniable.
The Dodgers drafted Verdugo in the second round of the 2014 MLB Draft. Since his selection, Verdugo has wasted no time in working his way up through the Dodgers farm system.
It took Verdugo just one season to advance from class-A to advanced-A. The following year, 2016, Verdugo spent in AA Tulsa. Then, the following year, the outfielder was promoted to AAA Oklahoma City before making his MLB debut in 2017.
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Verdugo’s quick progression is due to his natural swing at the plate and fielding value in the outfield. Verdugo hit .314 with AAA last season with 27 doubles and 62 RBIs. His smooth swing naturally produces gap-to-gap results that will rack up his extra-base hits.
However, as talented as Verdugo is, the Dodgers do not necessarily need him. Los Angeles already has two left-handed hitting left fielders in the big leagues in Joc Pederson and Andrew Toles. Verdugo could take over right field after 2018 if Yasiel Puig signs elsewhere but he is big league ready now.
Thus, we could see the Dodgers trade Verdugo in a similar fashion as Jose De Leon last year. Of course, Verdugo would merit a much larger return.
Or Verdugo could be the key piece in a Giancarlo Stanton trade. Los Angeles managed to hold onto him in acquiring Yu Darvish. Now, his worth can be turned into the biggest trade in recent MLB memory.