Two Oklahoma City Dodgers received top honors on Monday in being named to the 2018 All-PCL team. Alex Verdugo and Manny Bañuelos were the two minor league players named to the squad. Their reward could be a promotion when rosters expand to 40-players on September 1st.
Congratulations to Dodgers pitcher Manny Bañuelos and outfielder Alex Verdugo on being named to the 2018 All-PCL Team!
— Oklahoma City Dodgers (@okc_dodgers) August 27, 2018
Both Verdugo and Bañuelos are deserving of this nomination – something that is no anomaly for Oklahoma City Dodgers through the years.
This marks the fourth straight year a member of the OKC Dodgers has been named to the end-of-season All-PCL Team. This is also just the second time since Oklahoma City rejoined the PCL in 1998 that multiple Oklahoma City players have made the team in the same season, as well as the first time since 1999.
Bañuelos ranks third in the PCL with a 3.59 ERA in 27 appearances and 18 starts. While he’s made a recent move to the bullpen, he leads the league with 10.79 strikeouts per nine innings. At 27 years of age, he figures to be an arm within the organization who could factor in as in-house help down the stretch.
Whereas Bañuelos is a name recognized by many, Verdugo is the household name of the pair. While he’s appeared in 14 games at the big league level during the course of the regular season, he has a .335 average in 86 games for Oklahoma City. During his PCL season, he’s tallied a pair of 13-game hit streaks and has a .391 on-base percentage. His time at the AAA level remaining should be short because he’s proven his mastery of this league.
In brief, it’s great to see the Dodgers get minor league hardware. This is a reminder that the organization does have help beyond the big league level. If reinforcements are needed – and there are indications that they are – the solutions reside in-house. Make no mistake about it, there are clubs around baseball that don’t have this kind of talent seasoning at their AAA level. When we say that the Dodgers are treating their fans to a charmed life, this is a small piece of evidence. Further, it’s been this way for almost a generation in Los Angeles. The future remains very bright due to these two names and many others. It should be fun to see them blossom, and their impact they will have when they reach Dodger Stadium.
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