Dodgers rookie outfielder Alex Verdugo was a fixture on top prospects lists for years and spent most of 2017 and 2018 looking ready for the Majors but blocked by a logjam of outfielders in Los Angeles.
Verdugo is making the most of regular playing time with the big-league Dodgers in 2019, hitting .330 with a .913 OPS while acquitting himself nicely in all three outfield positions. A mature approach at the plate and excellent contact ability have Verdugo leading all rookie position players in rWAR, and the lefty-swinging outfielder now looks apt to be a fixture in the Dodgers’ lineup for the foreseeable future.
Given how long it seemed like he was waiting for his turn, it’s crazy to think that Verdugo only turned 23 on Tuesday. And perhaps because he spent his last month and a half as a 22-year-old torching Major League pitching, the Dodger Stadium crowd serenaded Verdugo with a round of “Happy Birthday” during the game:
Verdugo went 1-for-3 with a run scored on his birthday, and a strong start from Kenta Maeda gave the Dodgers a victory. The win improved Los Angeles to 29-16 on the young season.