Although the Dodgers just made a trade that landed them Curtis Granderson from the Met’s, we’re missing the perspective of what this does during September call-ups.
Alex Verdugo has continued to have a strong season in Triple-A for the Dodgers and is undoubtedly happy to still be on the team after all the maneuvering a few weeks ago at the trade deadline.
It was Willie Calhoun and not he or Yadier Alvarez that were moved capture to the biggest prize at the trade deadline in Yu Darvish. Now, with less than 20 games remaining in the Oklahoma City Dodgers schedule, the 21-year-old has to be thinking about his inevitable call up in September.
The Dodgers will get a very seasoned young ball player when he comes up, barring anything drastic changing in the next few weeks. But even slashing a cool .319/.391/.447 and playing some of the best outfield in the Dodgers organization, his arrival at the big league level comes in the midst of some of the best baseball being played in franchise history.
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Verdugo had a little run a history himself earlier in the year, reaching base in 41 straight games and hitting one of the strangest home runs in baseball history. After ending July and starting August slow, he has begun to pick it up a bit in his last few games.
So the question is, where does Verdugo fit into the picture come September in Los Angeles?
His versatility allows for him to fit in anywhere in the outfield as he’s played every spot in OKC this year – 53 in center, 42 in right and even nine in left. And on top of playing a variety of positions, he plays them all well, some of the best defense in the Dodgers system.
When you look at the Dodgers outfield right now, it’s crowded. Chris Taylor and Yasiel Puig have become mainstays at the corner outfield spots, but center field has been more of a platoon. Joc Pederson has battled through injuries but has started more than anyone there with 67 while Taylor and Kiké Hernandez combined for an additional 34 games. Now with the addition of Curtis Granderson, it’s even harder to see Verdugo getting consistent playing time in September.
When and more than likely if Verdugo gets called up, he will play CF for the team and has a chance to make take a grasp on that position going into October, crazier things have happened.
When Verdugo’s Triple-A season is over, he will probably break his personal best for RBI, doubles, triples, and walks. He’s had a year that would get you called up in July for most other teams; he just happens to be the one that is 86-34.
If you want a prediction, Verdugo will be up in September, and I believe he will get his deserved opportunities in center and pinch hitting, but ultimately this team is too deep. Hopefully, he turns into a big part of the Dodgers for 2018 and goes onto have an outstanding career in Los Angeles. For 2017, it just doesn’t feel like the right time, but you never know, that’s why they play the games.