The recent trade for pitcher Jonathan Sanchez from the San Francisco Giants also brought another pitcher, Ryan Verdugo, to the Kansas City Royals as well. While everyone is focused on Sanchez’s big league experience, as they should be, it should be noted that Verdugo is hardly a forgettable name.
For those wanting to know more about Verdugo, the AA reliever turned starter has a great bio from Jonathan Mayo over at MLB.com, “A ninth-round pick of the Giants in 2008, Verdugo came out of LSU’s program after transferring there from Skagit Valley Community College. The lefty has been used as both a starter and a reliever and shown some ability in both roles. It’s believed the Royals are leaning toward making him a situational lefty, perhaps a one- or two-inning guy in the Majors.”
“The 24-year-old has an aggressive approach and goes right after hitters,” he continues. “His fastball is a tick above average, occasionally plus. His breaking ball, a slider, is Major League average, but he uses it well. He throws an average changeup, too.”
Keith Law says the starter experiment won’t work out in the future, but he does have a big league future. He writes, “The Royals also get Ryan Verdugo, a left-handed starter who doesn’t have the command or control to stay in that role but who is effective enough against lefties with an above-average fastball-slider combo to profile as a big leaguer in the ’pen.”