Lately, Alex Verdugo has been slumping for the Los Angeles Dodgers. This is backed up in the numbers – as Verdugo hit just .211 with no homers from May 12 to June 10. Of course, this happens for all young players. Therefore, it’s how they respond and make adjustments which shows what you have in a player when the cement hardens.
Furthermore, Verdugo talks about these adjustments with Mike Digiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. And the rookie had a very nice weekend against the Chicago Cubs, proof that the work is paying off.
— L.A. Times Sports (@latimessports) June 17, 2019
First, Verdugo hit a long home run that accounted for the Dodgers sole run on Saturday evening. At 459 feet, it was the longest Dodgers home run of the season. Here’s a look at the blast in case you were asleep like I was.
Verdugoing, going, gone. pic.twitter.com/RKIVt1pLCP
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) June 16, 2019
Obviously a blast like that comes along rarely for a player. Verdugo commented on the distance of the home run.
“That’s pretty far — that’s pretty out there, man,” Verdugo said with a grin on Sunday. “It felt great. It was the perfect swing. I took a line-drive approach, ended up getting it a little more elevated with backspin, and it was a good result.”
Indeed, his approach getting mention is because he did something different that achieved result. So what is Verdugo doing differently with his swing right now?
“When I get a little too pull-happy or my shoulder starts flying out, my swing starts breaking down,” the left-handed-hitting Verdugo said. “I get frustrated because you’re like, ‘What happened?’ And you look at video and you realize, ‘I got way too big instead of just trying to hit a line drive.’ ”
This is good to hear – knowing that he is getting pull-happy and keeping his shoulder in longer. Moreover, Cody Bellinger has commented similarly on the extensive video work that has made a difference in his 2019 season.
Clearly, the Dodgers have a player with immense upside in Verdugo. Now when you have a player that is this talented, and he’s willing to put in the work when he goes through a slump; the sky is the limit.
It’s true what they say: talent plus work-ethic equal limitless results. If the Dodgers continue to exercise patience with Verdugo and allow him to get his plate appearances, they should end up with another great player. Looking back on the handling of other outfielders like Bellinger and Joc Pederson, there’s no reason to think that they won’t.
What kind of ceiling do you see for Verdugo long-term? Let us know in the comments section below.