Alex Verdugo Yankees

After much debate over his surprising off-season trade, Alex Verdugo is proving why he is the best thing that happened to the New York Yankees in recent times after Juan Soto. Primarily acquired to settle left-field issues, Verdugo has quickly become a threatening, offensive force in the middle of the lineup. In 35 appearances so far, Verdugo has hit .264 with 5 home runs and 17 RBIs, including a couple of clutch bombs. That being said, with Verdugo showing significant signs of a resurgence in the pinstripes, here are three reasons to believe that the left-hander is actually the best clean-up hitter presently in MLB.

1. Compelling Personality

NYY Twitter

Alex Verdugo is often described as an energetic and passionate player both on and off the field. His infectious energy has infused a positive environment inside the clubhouse. Verdugo has kept his teammates engaged with unique barking celebrations. And as a clean-up hitter, hitters around him feed on his momentum. Hence, Verdugo started this trend to celebrate each run with barks and increase the intensity as and when the lead soars. Interestingly, his teammates agreed to Verdugo’s idea, and the entire unit was seen barking in the clubhouse on multiple occasions. It’s safe to say Verdugo is the spark the Yankees needed to regain life after an abysmal 2023 season, and the risky trade is yielding results. 


2. Balances The Lineup

Yankees, Alex Verdugo
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

The New York Yankees have always been a righty-dominated hitting lineup until this off-season. After missing the postseason in 2023 due to a lack of offensive contributions, the front office invoked urgency to infuse left-handed hitters Alex Verdugo and Juan Soto in order to balance out the lineup. Now, earlier, Anthony Rizzo struggled as a clean-up hitter as a right-handed batter as it was much easier for the opposition to introduce relief pitchers. But since the position has been swapped to accommodate Alex Verdugo, the Yanks have witnessed a surge in the offensive. Verdugo’s lefty bat has brought much-needed balance to the power-packed hitting lineup, and the righty-lefty combination brings an edge to players like Aaron Judge, who gets to play freely with less accurate pitches.

3. Hot Streak

Yankees, Alex Verdugo
Miami Marlins v New York Yankees / Dustin Satloff/GettyImages

Moving to the clean-up position has proved to be the best decision for Alex Verdugo. After initially kicking off the season at No.6, Verdugo moved to 4th place on April 27 and witnessed a dramatic turnaround. Since April 27, Verdugo is hitting .333 with a .533 slugging percentage. In seven games, he also tanked two home runs and 8 RBIs. And this is just the start, as the season just entered its second month. Over the course of a full season, if Alex Verdugo manages to maintain the hot streak, he will undoubtedly finish as the best clean-up hitting in the whole of MLB. And his contributions will surely play a huge role in New York Yankees’ deep postseason run. From being benched at Red Sox over unprofessional behavior, Alex Verdugo has cracked open in pinstripes, and the Yanks couldn’t be happier with its free agency decision.

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