Alex Verdugo - on-field discussion thread

YTF

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How would that work? Let's say they cancel the entire 2020 season. Contracts would all get pushed back a year, right? Or...not?
Good luck pushing that past the player's union. Seriously I wonder what, if any provision there is for a canceled season or even a partially canceled one. This was a league decision, do owner's pay the full freight on a this sort of work stoppage? Assuming that if the players strike they would not be paid for time missed, but in the case of a lock out or prolonged non baseball reason?
 

pokey_reese

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This Mookie deal was a complete victory for the Sox if they play or don’t.
For real. Not that I think the Sox can be given tons of credit for seeing the future, but I think at least some credit for recognizing that the risks on their side were largely mitigated by turning a one-year contract into several multi-year contracts. Whether a pandemic or a knee injury, they made sure they were covered from a value standpoint.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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To play Devil's Advocate (fun pinball game), if trading Betts made him less likely to resign here, that would be a possible downside*

*I don't believe that's actually the case. But just saying, if one took that point of view.
Are we working in hindsight or without today's knowledge?

Frankly, I'm glad (or even mores, I should say) that they didn't give into what he was asking for, given the uncertain future and that they dumped Price at the same time. That's a huge sigh of relief. All things being equal, depends on your stance. I don't consider Betts' to be worth a Trout level deal. (I frankly don't consider Trout to be worth one, but that's a bigger conversation.) So I really don't care how it impacted it. IF he can be all business and turn down extensions to get every last dollar, why can't the Sox side do the equivalent?
 

scottyno

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To play Devil's Advocate (fun pinball game), if trading Betts made him less likely to resign here, that would be a possible downside*

*I don't believe that's actually the case. But just saying, if one took that point of view.
It would, but anyone who actually believes that is ignoring the current baseball economy, as was discussed months ago, trading him made it far more likely that they eventually resign him.
 

The Gray Eagle

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LHB who can go to left field with power can really enjoy themselves with Fenway Park as their home stadium. May Vertigo continue to hit the heights like that for a long time.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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That kind of oppo power from a person who is maybe six feet tall and 190 pounds is pretty remarkable. The catch is pretty sweet too but those HRs are really impressive.
 

richgedman'sghost

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Hey I know it's early but Alex Verdugo with the two home runs and a home run saving catch in tonight's game. I take it that @SJH wasn't watching the game. Smiling Joe Hesketh keeps mentioning that A.V. has a chronic back condition. What proof is there that the back will be a continuous problem in the future? Everything I've read and seen reported is that the back is now solved.
As for Mookie, I think he firmly intended to go to free agency. However, when the pandemic hit, Mookie decided not to risk free agency. He decided to take the bird in hand, rather than risk a depressed market. After all at the end of this year, I firmly believe the owners will argue that the lack of fans in stands and loss of concession dollars will force them to cut back on free agent dollars. Why is that so hard to understand?
 

sodenj5

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It isn’t fair to compare Alex Verdugo to Mookie Betts every time either of them does something.

Verdugo isn’t Betts. But he can be his own, exciting player. He clearly plays with some swagger and brings some juice to the field. In what is essentially a lost season for Boston, it sure would be nice to see Verdugo show he can be a piece moving forward.
 

A Bad Man

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I'll be interested to see what Doogie does with the inner part of the plate. Kid is fun to watch and seems healthy. Might see a few bean balls for that kind of celebration.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I'll be interested to see what Doogie does with the inner part of the plate. Kid is fun to watch and seems healthy. Might see a few bean balls for that kind of celebration.
Doogie? I really don't like Verdugo but I also hated Curt Schilling even when he was on the Sox. Whatever..... the Sox got a good piece back in a trade IMO. Hopefully Devers, X, Benintendi and Martinez can unscrew themselves and see what the future could be.
 

DJnVa

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I'll be interested to see what Doogie does with the inner part of the plate. Kid is fun to watch and seems healthy. Might see a few bean balls for that kind of celebration.
I doubt he'll get a bean ball for celebrating a nice catch.
 

sean1562

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That's the problem with baseball. A player is passionate and excited about something he did and has to worry whether he'll get 95 to the head. Ridiculous.
does anyone remember this ever actually happening after a catch like that? I feel like guys celebrate like that all the time, we just heard it because there are no fans
 

Sam Ray Not

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Doogie? I really don't like Verdugo but I also hated Curt Schilling even when he was on the Sox. Whatever..... the Sox got a good piece back in a trade IMO. Hopefully Devers, X, Benintendi and Martinez can unscrew themselves and see what the future could be.
X (1.023 OPS) needs no unscrewing as far as I can tell. No idea what’s up with the others, particularly Benintendi. “Dugie” looks kinda like the long lost Beni from two years ago.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I'll be interested to see what Doogie does with the inner part of the plate. Kid is fun to watch and seems healthy. Might see a few bean balls for that kind of celebration.
The celebration of the catch? What asshole pitcher is going to throw at him for that? Who'd he "show up" with that well-deserved celebration?

Guess by the same token, the Astros are still biding their time to discipline Benintendi for his ALCS antics two years ago?

 

54thMA

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It isn’t fair to compare Alex Verdugo to Mookie Betts every time either of them does something.

Verdugo isn’t Betts. But he can be his own, exciting player. He clearly plays with some swagger and brings some juice to the field. In what is essentially a lost season for Boston, it sure would be nice to see Verdugo show he can be a piece moving forward.
Amen to that.

And holy smokes, that second home run was crushed.

He's got a nice short, compact swing, seeing him develop this season will be fun to watch.

Any lefty who uses that left field wall to his advantage will do well here.
 

A Bad Man

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I think you guys are right about the celebration from a defensive play, now that I think about it. I guess I'm a little anxious overall about enthusiasm vs. cockiness with Verdugo. But what a monster game yesterday.
 

DJnVa

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I think you guys are right about the celebration from a defensive play, now that I think about it. I guess I'm a little anxious overall about enthusiasm vs. cockiness with Verdugo. But what a monster game yesterday.
As the announcers said yesterday, with no crowds it's on the players to create the excitement. Verdugo seems to be taking on that role.
 

EnochRoot

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That pitch Cole threw that Verdugo knocked out of the park (Cole's lone mistake), wasn't even that bad of a pitch. It broke over the lower inside corner of the K zone, and he deposited it into the upper deck.
 

nvalvo

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We're 100ish PA into the Alex Verdugo experience, and I must say I'm ecstatic about how well it's going.

He has a .298/.371/.543 line, good for a .914 OPS. He's hit 5 HR and 8 doubles. His plate discipline stats look good. He holds his own against lefties (.730 OPS; .366 OBP) and crushes righties (1.030 OPS). He's been good in the outfield. Extrapolated out to a full 625 PA season, that would be 30 HR, 48 2B season, probably good for 6 and change WAR.

That's basically one of Mookie's merely great seasons, but not one of his 10 WAR masterpieces like 2016 or 2018.

Now, who knows if he can keep up this rate. He has a high BABIP, but also enough hard hit balls to suggest that it isn't a mirage. At any rate, if you can trade one year of your star player and get five years of control of a player who is even comparable, plus a pair of decent prospects and unload some salary, you've done okay.
 

BaseballJones

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Agreed. I hated seeing Mookie go - he was my favorite player on the team by a wide margin - but if a .914 ops, 141 ops+ guy is what they were able to replace him with, that's not too bad. Right now, of qualified outfielders in MLB, he ranks #17 in ops, #16 in slg, #5 in 2b, and #15 in runs.

That's not too bad at all. That's borderline all-star caliber play right there. It's not Mookie, who's absolutely eviscerating the baseball right now, but it's pretty damned good.
 
If Verdugo is a cost-controlled player 4-6 win player for the next 4 seasons then what a trade that was. 1 year of any player for 5 years of a 4-6 WAR player is pretty fantastic by itself, and when you consider the other prospects and salary relief it really looks great. Of course we are doing some serious pre-hatch chicken counting here...
 

Pitt the Elder

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Am I the only one worried about Verdugo's quality of contact and that he's been more than a little lucky this year? His exit velocity on the year is 85.7, only in the 31st percentile, and his launch angle is only 4.1. Somehow, his barrel % is 11.1% despite those stats, but even that is middle of the league. His EV and LA were better last year (89.4 / 8.8), but even so, his xBA and xSLG (.258 and .464) are quite a bit lower than his actual BA and SLG (.298 and .543).

https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/savant-player/alex-verdugo-657077?stats=statcast-r-hitting-mlb
 

JBJ_HOF

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Not worried at all. 17 of his first 20 batted balls were on the ground and killed his overall numbers. He hadn't played a game in a year after the reboot and didn't even get a real spring training. His timing was brutal. He has looked awesome since, better than with LA.

Rolling averages:


 

nvalvo

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Not worried at all. 17 of his first 20 batted balls were on the ground and killed his overall numbers. He hadn't played a game in a year after the reboot and didn't even get a real spring training. His timing was brutal. He has looked awesome since, better than with LA.

Rolling averages:


Yup, I had looked into that when I was writing up my post and should have mentioned it.

He also wasn't that lucky, results wise. His first 30 PA yielded a .550 OPS, which fits with what you'd expect from that contact data. His next 75 PA have yielded a simply excellent .318/.400/.667 line that has roughly corresponded with the improvement in his contact numbers. I don't think he's actually a 1.000+ OPS guy going forward, but it's great to see it.
 

BaseballJones

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Verdugo has been on a nice little tear the last 10 games: 37 ab, 10 r, 14 h, 7 2b, 1 hr, 5 rbi, .378/.452/.649/1.101

Last 20 games: 73 ab, 16 r, 24 h, 8 2b, 5 hr, 12 rbi, .329/.402/.644/1.046

SSS and all, but he's showing up nicely this season. Definitely a bright spot on this otherwise dismal "season".
 

SouthernBoSox

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As of September 1, he’s 4th in the AL for OF’s in WAR with 1.3 (fangraphs)

It seems obvious he is a legit piece for a championship contending team. And he isn’t a a free agent until 2025...
 

sodenj5

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Dodger fans will likely unanimously agree they would do the Mookie trade 100/100, but getting a player like Verdugo in exchange for a single season of Mookie in a shortened season are the types of moves this franchise needs.

Verdugo, on the field, is an easy guy to root for. He seems to be the spark plug and easily the most watchable guy on the team this season.

A lot of times, the question is whether or not a player can handle the spotlight of Boston, and Verdugo not only seems to be capable of handling it, he seems to feed off of it.
 

Max Power

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His best defensive skill is his ability to cut off balls before they get to the wall. Even if he doesn't have the arm to be throwing a lot of runners out, he'll turn a lot of doubles into singles.
 

BaseballJones

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Current line: 33 g, 132 pa, 121 ab, 23 r, 12 2b, 5 hr, 12 rbi, .306/.364/.529/.893, 135 ops+, 1.6 bWAR

On pace over 150 games (figuring days off, etc.) for: 550 ab, 105 r, 55 2b, 23 hr, 55 rbi, .306/.364/.529/.893, 7.3 bWAR

I don't think he's a 7.3 WAR player, but anywhere between 5-7 would be fantastic. The kid is a really good baseball player. And yeah, costs nothing and is under team control for a bunch of years still.
 

joe dokes

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His best defensive skill is his ability to cut off balls before they get to the wall. Even if he doesn't have the arm to be throwing a lot of runners out, he'll turn a lot of doubles into singles.
Yes, I have seeen that also. It's part of his overall aggressiveness. It might cost him occasionally (and those are the ones that people will remember), but on balance, he could save a lot of bases.
 

Twilight

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From what I've seen, his arm doesn't look very strong and lots of runners take chances on him. But that's just my eyeballs seeing only parts of not all the games.
I agree entirely--I'm not watching much, but I haven't been impressed with his arm strength. I see bounces even on shallow throws. Still, accuracy and getting rid of it quickly count (there should be a pop time for other fielders, too).

Fangraphs has him first in both ARM and rARM this year. He wasn't in the top 50 in either category last year, but Benintendi was 10th and 13th respectively. I wouldn't be surprised if Fenway's left field artificially inflates them. I'm not familiar with those metrics so someone can upbraid me if they're junk.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I agree entirely--I'm not watching much, but I haven't been impressed with his arm strength. I see bounces even on shallow throws. Still, accuracy and getting rid of it quickly count (there should be a pop time for other fielders, too).

Fangraphs has him first in both ARM and rARM this year. He wasn't in the top 50 in either category last year, but Benintendi was 10th and 13th respectively. I wouldn't be surprised if Fenway's left field artificially inflates them. I'm not familiar with those metrics so someone can upbraid me if they're junk.
You're probably right about Fenway helping. Manny used to rack up outfield assists playing out there too. If you know how to play the wall and cut off angles, it's not hard to catch some runners unaware trying to stretch a single into a double, or trying to score from second on a ball down the line.
 

ElcaballitoMVP

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I actually think Verdugo's arm is fine. Scouting reports coming up the Dodgers system always highlighted a plus arm. And one thing I notice about him playing in LF is that he utilizes his quick release to get rid of the ball really well. You don't need to have a huge arm to play LF in Fenway. A quick, accurate arm is really valuable. His throws are typically on target and on a bounce to the catcher, pretty much exactly how you want them (airmailing the cutoff man makes it easier for the other runners to advance). Look at the above clip and watch how quickly he goes from fielding the ball to getting rid of it and delivering an accurate throw to nail Suzuki trying to score with 2 outs.

He's really aggressive defensively, which can burn him at times when he takes bad angles, but that should improve with more experience out there.