Some fans assume that Alex Verdugo was called up for the purpose of player development, so that he could get a taste of the big leagues and help his advancement for next year. That seems logical, but it is also a huge mistake to think that is the only reason. It very well could be that Alex Verdugo could be a missing piece to the World Series Puzzle. Alex Verdugo’s ceiling is Tony Gwynn. Mind you, I am not saying he will be as good as Tony Gwynn… but he could!
Tony Gwynn was a hitting machine. He didn’t walk much and he didn’t strike out much, but he almost always walked more than he struck out… which is exactly what Alex Verdugo does. Tony Gwynn for his career averaged a .338 BA with a .388 OB% and 9 HR, 76 RBI to go with 52 BB and 29 strikeouts a season. Oh, and he “averaged” 209 hits a season.
I am not saying that Alex Verdugo can do all that… but it is possible. There is a reason why FAZ did not trade Alex when everyone was asking for him and Walker Buehler: Alex Verdugo might be Tony Gwynn! In the interest of full disclosure, I believed with every fiber of my being that Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger would be superstars. I am not convinced (beyond a shadow of a doubt) that Alex Verdugo will be one.
OK, here it is: I question his character… but he is young and I could be wrong, and if I am, he’s a star! If Alex “wants it” as bad as Cody and Corey and if he works as hard as they do, then he will be Tony Gwynn. Tonight, we start to find out if he is. He can play CF, but so can Cody Bellinger and he’s not a centerfielder. Alex will be a corner outfielder because he has below average speed, but he has a cannon mounted on his shoulder… it might be better than Puig’s!
Alex Verdugo is a player who could leadoff for the Dodgers for the next 15 years. He could be a big part of the teams’ success down the stretch and in the playoffs. He is an OB machine. He’s a stone-cold hitter. I am anxious to see what he does tonight. This kid could be special… very special! That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.