Alex Verdugo made himself a fan favorite before injuries cut his 2019 season short.
During the 2019 season, many Dodgers were put on full display and gave their all. Through slumps and shining moments, each player showcased their strengths and weaknesses. Alex Verdugo was one player that showed greatness until his season came to a halt.
Before he was sidelined for the rest of the season with an injury, Verdugo was showing flashes of the player the Dodgers envisioned as they watched him rise through the minors. As the season opened in late March, many wondered how much playing time Verdugo was going to receive. With so many high profile outfielders like Cody Bellinger and A.J. Pollock, the likes of Verdugo being a season regular were questionable.
However, that was not the case.
In the last few days of March and the month of April, Verdugo played in 30 games. He hit .333 to go along with four home runs. More importantly, he also showed flashes of his defensive ability, making numerous key plays in the outfield.
When Pollock hit the IL, Verdugo saw an increase in his playing time. He was essentially an everyday starter and looked to be one of the better rookies in the National League.
In the following months of May and June, Verdugo didn’t disappoint. He was able to maintain a batting average at .302 and added another five home runs to his count. He was slowly becoming a crowd favorite with his dominant bat, great glove and boisterous personality in the clubhouse.
When July came around, Verdugo began to hit a bit of a slump. He hit .250 and added three home runs. Defensively he was still great and proving consistently that he’s a need in the everyday lineup.
Unfortunately, when August rolled around, Verdugo was put on the IL due to an oblique strain. Though it originally appeared that he’d miss a few weeks, Verdugo ended up missing the remainder of the season.
He was playing rehab games in September when he began to feel lower back tightness which then led to him having to stay on the IL longer. There were rumors he could have made it back for potentially late October, but sadly the Dodgers didn’t advance far enough to see.
Overall, Verdugo was a huge asset to this 2019 Dodgers team. He was able to showcase why he deserved to be a regular starter as a rookie and proved he was a great player both offensively and defensively. He was a part of Dodger’s history with the rookie three-peat walk-offs and brought an energy to the team and stadium that quickly made him a crowd favorite.
If his injuries did not halt his season, he would be at the top of the list with the grade of an ‘A’ but due to missing a good amount of the season I would give him a ‘B’. We can only hope 2020 brings Verdugo the same energy.