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4 weeks agoAlex Verdugo , the newest member of the  Boston outfield, entered the 2019 season as one of the most talked-about rookies in the game and was regarded as the top prospect to come out of the Dodgers’ system last year. He seemed to be ready for the spotlight, as he fashioned a .294 BA in 343 at-bats, continuing on his path of being a solid contact type as he had shown in the minors. His xBA of .288 indicates he can certainly stay in that range with more playing time this season. He also hit 12 home runs, which was two more than he hit in the minors in 15 less games in the previous year. Verdugo fashioned an encouraging  xSLG of .452. His .181 ISO was a significant jump from his recent seasons in minor league ball, as it never got above.143 from 2016 to 2018. He also maintained a quality strikeout rate of 13.0 percent, continuing to show a lot of poise at the plate for a 23-year old. Improvements in Hard Hit % (39.3) and Exit Velocity (89.4) could be bonuses that come with more experience. But his very promising campaign was cut short by an oblique injury and he also encountered a back problem on a rehab assignment. He was traded to the Red Sox in February, and we should see even more growth and progress from Verdugo this season. He may continue to blossom at the Major League level as the production improves and he should stick as Boston's regular right fielder and No. 6  hitter in a lineup that was the fourth-best in the Majors in 2019. He is also moving from the No. 24 ballpark in runs generated last year to a Top 10 home venue. He looks like a fine value at an ADP of 226.27.     --Scott Engel - RotoBaller
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