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Dodgers: Alex Verdugo’s Infectious Energy a Boost for the Team

Rookie outfielder making a big impact on his teammates.

Without question, the on-field impact of Alex Verdugo for the 2019 Dodgers has been invaluable. The 23-year old has been worth a 2.2 bWAR thus far this season. Moreover, Verdugo is regarded as one of the most valuable defensive outfielders in the game by advanced metrics.

However, it’s always interesting to hear how a new young player figures into a veteran clubhouse. The term ‘chemistry’ is pretty understated as long as you’re winning – and gets mentioned when things aren’t going well.

Now, ESPN’s Buster Olney is talking about Verdugo’s big impact within the locker room.

Furthermore, there’s no better man to measure the impact of a guy within the clubhouse than manager Dave Roberts; expert of all-things clubhouse chemistry. So what does Roberts think of his young talent?

He’s very endearing,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said, cracking a smile. “The more you’re around him, the more you understand him.

Perhaps so endearing that – Verdugo says in his first campaign in 2018 – he wasn’t quite himself. He was acting in a manner that he thought was most likely to please his teammates.

I kind of tried to act a certain way that I thought they would like,” Verdugo said. “Now, this year, it’s ‘be myself.’ I feel like everybody has opened to it and I think they can kind of see that it’s genuine.

At the moment, Verdugo is just being himself. That extends far beyond the highlight-reel defensive plays and beautiful natural swings that result in line drives. Indeed, Verdugo’s personality is full of flash.

It’s possible you heard about his Volver Volver walk-up song. What’s more, Verdugo likes to wear some jewelry to add sizzle to his appearance while playing.

I like the jewelry – I like the way it shines, I like the way it looks. It’s something that just gives me a little more confidence. It kind of gives you that edge too. People look at you like, ‘Who’s this guy with all this stuff? He’s got more chains on than service time.’ I just laugh about it, man. I’m all for it.

Verdugo is a cool player to watch. Any time that a player’s make-up is interesting and his play can match that, it’s a win for the sport. Lastly, it’s great to see his success in adding a wrinkle of flavor and excitement that didn’t exist before he stepped into the Dodgers’ locker room.

Written by Clint Evans

Clint lives in Ohio, and played collegiate baseball. He loves the Dodgers due to his first memories of Chavez Ravine when he was nine years old. The voice of Vin Scully has been a staple in his life since he was a kid. No amount of baseball talk is ever enough, and he wishes the regular season was year round. He has written about baseball online since 2007.

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  1. Clint………I love the guy already. When Pollock returns, if they send “Albert” to the bench, I am gonna be frustrated with “Dave” even more……..if I were managing this team, left hand be damned, I would have Verdugo hitting behind Bellinger.

    • With you Bluz1st, Verdugo looks like a top-10 OF in the league to me; on both sides of the ball. Set it and forget it for the next 5-6 years and see what he does!

  2. Bluz1st, I agree with your thoughts about Verdugo. The “kid” plays a very nice game, is a good team player, hits in various situations, and keeps his head in the game. You can never have too many of these fellows on a team!!!! Go Blue!!

  3. Bluz1st, remember it’s the puppet master that often pulls Robert’s strings so WSS about playing time once Pollock returns. Who hits behind Bellinger is vital, otherwise, if I am the opposing team I simply pitch completely around Cody. Left hand hitter or not, the Dodger’s apparent weakness from the right side will be very well exposed come the PS…bank it.

  4. Verdugo has natural skill, as well as natural swag. He does not need to be anything, but what he is…..an emerging talent This “kid” is a measured team player that has been able to “bring it” in clutch situations. Verdugo seems to truly understand the significance of playing smaller ball when necessary to advance players. Dodgers (and Dodgers’ fans) are fortunate to have him.

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