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Alex Verdugo (OF, LAD) - Week 8 Waiver Wire Pickups

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues

OWNED IN: 32% of leagues

ANALYSIS: The lineup for the Los Angeles Dodgers is never truly complete and could always use its yearly dash of young and explosive, here in the case of highly-touted prospect Alex Verdugo. Filling in for a slew of injured Dodgers including the transfer of A.J. Pollock to the IL, the 23-year old native of Tucson has wasted little time to make a big-league impression for 2019. In 116 AB, he has already illustrated the well-rounded power/speed skill set applied to him by scouts through four home runs, two stolen bases, and a slash of .328/.373/.534. He also displayed his unique capabilities by tossing one of the fastest outfield assists of the season at a clock-in of 98.4 MPH. This all forms a highly encouraging image for the immediate future when paired with his 16 dingers, 17 swipes, and .321/.389/.452 slash in 776 AB throughout the Triple-A level.

While his walk rate of 6.3% is modest and his pull rate of 29.8% is far from ideal, that is about as far as the drawbacks stretch. His strikeout rate of 10.3% gives him the maximum amount of opportunity to do damage, his GB/FB ratio has trended in the right direction from 2.79 last year to 1.24 so far in 2019, and his contact-quality still speaks the loudest volume. Posting an exit velocity of 89.9 MPH, average HR distance of 405 feet, and hard and soft contact rates of 44.2% and 15.4% are good for plenty of damage in the fourth-ranked run-scoring Dodgers offense. The extended absence of A.J. Pollock will continue to create the need for mid-season heroics in Los Angeles, and with Alex Verdugo receiving the reigns to answer the call, make sure to be a part of the statistical freight-train which may ensue.

Check out RotoBaller's entire fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups and sleepers list, updated daily!