SECAUCUS, New Jersey -- The Dodgers concluded their opening night of the 2014 MLB Draft by drafting outfielder Alex Verdugo from Sahuaro High School in Tucson, Arizona with their second round pick, No. 62 overall, on Thursday evening at the MLB Network studios.
Verdugo was a two-way player, also a left-handed pitcher, rated No. 55 overall by Baseball America in their pre-draft rankings. The broadcasters on MLB Network were surprised that Verdugo was listed as an outfielder, as most expected him to be picked as a pitcher.
"As a position player, Verdugo profiles as a corner outfielder with an above-average arm, below-average speed and hitting potential," read the Baeball America scouting report. "Some teams believe he wants to go out as a hitter, but his professional future is definitely on the mound."
Keith Law of ESPN rated Verdugo as the 68th-best draft prospect, and liked his offensive potential.
"You won't find too many swings better from the left side in this class than Verdugo," Law wrote. "He takes a short, direct path to the ball with above-average bat speed and keeps his hands in to generate power to the pull side."
Chris Rodriguezat Baseball Prospectus liked Verdugo as a position player, too:
Verdugo impressed throughout the games, both on the mound and at the plate. He featured a fastball that sat 90- 92 and touched 93 with good arm-side life. The arm strength was evident but there was plenty of effort in his delivery. He was able to spin his curveball well and get nice vertical drop with it. Verdugo might have more upside in the outfield, though, with solid tools across the board. The arm is obviously plus, and he pairs that with good outfield defense and above-average speed. During batting practice, he rocketed balls into the gaps and sold out for a little more pull-side power.
Verdugo, committed to Arizona State, was rated No. 60 overall my MLB.com.
The Dodgers in the first round selected South Carolina high school pitcher Grant Holmes with pick No. 22.
Sources: #Dodgers already in agreement with 2nd round pick (#62) Alex Verdugo on bonus figure. ASU commit not going to college.— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) June 6, 2014
The Dodgers make eight more picks on Friday, rounds three through 10, on the second of three days. Their third-round pick is No. 98 overall. Coverage of the draft on Friday begins at 9:30 a.m. PT on MLB.com, with the third round beginning at 10 a.m. PT.