The Dodgers initial wave of September call-ups will include their top position player prospect. The club will promote outfielder Alex Verdugo to the big leagues when roster limits expand on Friday, manager Dave Roberts told reporters on Thursday in Phoenix.
Alex Verdugo will be called up Friday, Joc Pederson will not be called up until OKC season ends.— David Vassegh (@THEREAL_DV) August 31, 2017
Dave Roberts on how the Dodgers plan to use Alex Verdugo: "We're going to play him." Word.— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) August 31, 2017
#Dodgers Dave Roberts wouldn't be specific about role/playing time for Alex Verdugo: "I do want to see Alex take at-bats and get out there."— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) August 31, 2017
The 21-year-old outfielder, drafted by the Dodgers in the second round in 2014, hit .314/.389/.436 with 27 doubles, six home runs and four triples in 117 games for Triple-A Oklahoma City this season. The left-hander had more walks (52) than strikeouts (50), and had a 41-game streak of reaching base via hit, walk, or hit by pitch from June 4 to July 26, the second-longest streak in the minors in 2017.
Verdugo was ranked as the No. 27 prospect in baseball by Baseball Prospectus at midseason, and rated No. 35 by Baseball America.
With Oklahoma City Verdugo played all three outfield spots, starting 55 games in center field, 45 games in right field, and eight games in left field.
The Dodgers will need to make a corresponding move Friday to create room on the 40-man roster for Verdugo, as well as for Andre Ethier, who is expected to be activated from the 60-day disabled list this weekend in San Diego.