MLB.com’s Prospect Pipeline released it’s top-10 outfield prospects for 2019 on Thursday. To no surprise, the young Dodgers wunderkind Alex Verdugo was part of the list.
Equally important, Verdugo was part of the superlative for ‘best arm’ with a scouting grade of 70 overall.
2019 Top 10 OF Prospects list: https://t.co/aYiWX3fx9y
Best bat: #WhiteSox Jimenez, #MNTwins Kirilloff (65)
Best power: Jimenez (70)
Best speed: #Nats Robles (75)
Best arm: Robles, #Dodgers' Verdugo, #Braves' Pache (70)
Best defense: Robles, Pache (70)
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) January 25, 2019
The Top 10 Outfield Prospects for 2019 (Prospect Pipeline)
The Top 10 (ETA)
1. Eloy Jimenez, White Sox (2019)
2. Victor Robles, Nationals (2019)
3. Kyle Tucker, Astros (2019)
4. Alex Kirilloff, Twins (2020)
5. Jo Adell, Angels (2020)
6. Taylor Trammell, Reds (2020)
7. Alex Verdugo, Dodgers (2019)
8. Cristian Pache, Braves (2020)
9. Jesus Sanchez, Rays (2020)
10. Luis Robert, White Sox (2020)
Verdugo checked in at seventh overall on the list. Here’s what MLB.com said in regards to one of his best tools – his throwing arm:
Best Arm: Robles, Verdugo, Pache (70)
All three players have plus-plus arm strength, and collectively they’ve recorded 130 outfield assists in the Minors. More than half belong to Verdugo, who has 59 career assists and hosed 24 baserunners back in 2015. Robles and Pache have 38 and 33 outfield assists, respectively, and each has had at least one season with 15-plus assists
For those that have Cody Bellinger or A.J. Pollock slated for the lion’s share of duties in right field, you may want to re-think that with this admission.
Scouting on Verdugo
MLB.com did a nice highlight of Verdugo’s talents a year ago, when he was rated the number two prospect in the Dodgers’ system. Here’s the scouting report:
“One of the best pure hitting prospects in baseball, Verdugo recognizes pitches and controls the strike zone better than most players his age. He uses the whole field, repeatedly barreling balls with a quick left-handed stroke geared for line drives. Though he homered just seven times in 132 games last season, his hitting ability, bat speed and strength should translate into average power if he adds some loft to his swing.
“As good as he is in the batter’s box, Verdugo’s best tool actually is his plus-plus arm. Despite average speed, he has spent much of his pro career in center field, where his instincts help him get the job done. Scouts are split on whether he can handle center on a daily basis in the Majors, but no one doubts that his arm would play in right.”
Moreover, there’s a lot to love about Verdugo – but above all – the arm and the high ceiling approach in the box are the things that seem to be resounding.
What To Expect
Verdugo should see a good amount of playing time – given he’s not a part of any trades before the regular season. In the 2018 season, he displayed the ability to handle himself amongst seasoned big leaguers on a World Series roster. Come 2019, expect Verdugo to receive between 200 and 400 plate appearances. Along with this, he will have the chance to prove what type of player he is for the years to come.
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