Alex Verdugo is off to one of the best starts of his career and the Red Sox outfielder is starting to receive recognition for his play. The All-Star Game is just six weeks away and Verdugo should be in the mix in the American League outfield.
It’ll be tough to snag a starting spot with the likes of Aaron Judge and Mike Trout patrolling the outfield in the AL, but Verdugo could very well receive one of the bench spots due to his strong play.
Verdugo explained what being an All-Star would mean to him during his appearance on the Audacy Original Podcast “Baseball Isn’t Boring” this week.
“It would mean a lot for me, honestly. It’s something that I’ve really wanted to do,” Verdugo said (6:57 in player above). “I know I’m that kind of player where I can be it, I have that kind of potential. It’d be nice to live up and have a little bit of validation in it.”
Verdugo has been a solid player throughout his career but he’s never been able to put a full season together.
“I always feel like after the All-Star break I f—ing go on a nice run,” he said. “It’d be really nice to just do it throughout the whole year.”
The outfielder always has the All-Star Game in his sights, and he uses that as motivation in the second half. Last year he hit .297 with a .772 OPS in the second half after batting .262 with a .691 OPS in the first half.
Through 51 games, Verdugo has five home runs and 21 runs batted in while batting .291. While he doesn’t have the raw power numbers that others do, an .825 OPS ranks as the eighth-best among AL outfielders.
The 27-year-old Verdugo knows this might be his chance.
“Everybody wants to always be known as an All-Star. Even if it’s one time, hey, you got that thing, you worked hard, just a little validation. For me, I know that I got to handle it one day at a time,” he said. “I feel like the hot streak’s coming. If I can flirt with .300, stay around there, add a couple more homers before the half, I think I have a good chance.”
The Red Sox acquired Verdugo as a part of the Mookie Betts trade in 2020. Perhaps an All-Star appearance by Verdugo would help lessen the weight of that deal for Red Sox fans.