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Dodgers: Andrew Friedman Talks About Alex Verdugo’s Baseball Instincts

When the head man talks about abilities like this, it grabs attention.

While Los Angeles Dodgers’ outfielder Alex Verdugo is in the midst of his first full season as a big leaguer, he’s finding his way. Moreover, Verdugo recently talked about some of the ways he worked through his first slump of his career at the highest level.

Now, Dodgers’ President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman is talking about the high pedigree of his 23-year old outfielder. Almost glowingly, Friedman joined Sirius XM’s Fantasy Sports radio hosts Jim Bowden and Glenn Colton to talk about Verdugo.

Remember, a guy like Friedman has seen thousands of players throughout his life. Therefore, for him to say something like he did about Verdugo’s baseball prowess should not be taken lightly.

“For a young player, he probably has the best instincts for the game of any young player I’ve been around.”

So what do ‘high baseball instincts’ translate to on the field? First off, a player will be naturally successful defensively in the outfield. Verdugo does things like get good reads and jumps on batted-balls, which allows him to play a tough position like center as a rookie. Not only does he play center, but he scores out extremely well there in advanced metrics.

While I believe that everyone who follows the Dodgers believed that Verdugo would be a solid big leaguer, he’s showing that he has a ceiling above what was perceived.

Finally, when you hear the head of the front office brass speak so highly of a player; you can bet they know they have a cornerstone in the making.

Over the next ten years, what do you think Verdugo’s career will look like? Let us know in the comments section below.

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. Dugie is Rookie of the Year material. He’s fun to watch, works hard, reliable, the quintessential team player and cheerleader, and he’s brought life to the team and the dugout. Do NOT trade him away! He IS our future.

  2. I think he’ll be a great lead off hitter for us for years to come. I see .300 avg or more with 20 hr power and 10 to 15 sb. All while playing gold glove level defense in center. What’s not to like. He doesnt strike out and will take more walks going forward.

  3. And it seems like most of the time Alex is able to score runners from 3rd base, with less than 2 outs. I have to say, I am not excited about replacing Alex in center field, when Pollock comes back from IL.

    • Scott, I agree Verdugo’s defensive metrics are superior to Pollock’s. Dugie has great instincts, is coachable, has a plus arm and good foot speed. He is hovering around 300 and as you mentioned finds a way to move runners over or score from 3rd all great baseball attributes that many on the Dodgers do not have, like Barnes and Taylor, who do not make contact when they need to do so to help the club.
      I read the Dodgers are planning to platoon Pedersen at 1st base, move Muncy to second when Pollock comes back and keep Verdugo in Center and put Pollock in RF. A Platoon of Freese and Pederson at 1st, Muncy at second, Seager and Turner would be an incredibly powerful offensive infield. Now if they move Will Smith up from OKC and have him start that would make them incredible. Oh and trade for some Bullpen help.

  4. You have to admire Verdugo’s enthusiasm for the game. His mind is in the game; his defense is excellent; he is a situational hitter with home run power. Just leave the kid alone and let him play.
    Frankly, I would not mind at all seeing AV in center; Belles in right; and Pollock in left. That is one fine outfield. And, with Pederson taking over at first; Max at second; and Seager and Red on the left side we have a beautiful lineup one through eight. Go Blue!!!

  5. I’m glad to hear they won’t be putting Pollock out there where Verdugo clearly belongs. I would agree it’s a good outfield if Pollock hits better than he has so far. He hasn’t shown anything yet, except that his propensity for injury is very much intact.

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