Red Sox

Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox acquired Los Angeles Dodgers prospect Alex Verdugo and Minnesota Twins prospect Brusdar Graterol in a three team trade that sent Mookie Betts and David Price to the Dodgers.

But who are Verdugo and Graterol? And what can they bring to the Red Sox who just gave up so much in Betts and Price?

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Verdugo was drafted by the Dodgers in the second round of the 2014 MLB Draft and spent a majority of last season (106 games) in at the MLB level with after shorter stints with the big-league club in both 2017 and 2018. In 2019, Verdugo hit .294 with 12 home runs, 44 RBIs and an .817 OPS with LA. Through six seasons in the minors (two in Triple-A) the 23-year-old batted .309 with 41 home runs, 271 RBIs and an .811 OPS.

Verdugo has strong contact skills with a 13 percent strikeout rate and has some solid power, according to Ian Cundall of SoxProspects.com, and is a solid defender who can play anywhere in the outfield.

The left-handed batter hadn't resumed baseball activity as of Jan. 31 due to a back/core injury and his status for Opening Day with the Dodgers was unknown. Although his injury was initially believed to be minor, it became something significantly more, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. And there's no guarantee he'll be ready for Opening Day.

 

Verdugo is being compared to Andrew Benintendi, but a "better" version of the Red Sox outfielder. At just 23 years old, he's got plenty of promise but will he be a replacement for the star caliber player that Betts was? Probably not.

So, who is Graterol exactly?

Many had never heard of the Twins prospect until he was announced in the Betts trade -- but he was one of their most highly regarded prospects headed into the 2020 season.

Graterol, the No. 83 overall prospect in baseball, is a right-handed pitcher who made appearances in 10 games for the Twins last season going 1-1 with a 4.66 ERA through 9 2/3 innings pitched. The 21-year-old recorded 10 strikeouts, two walks and a 1.24 WHIP through his short stint in the majors.

Although his MLB sample size is rather small, he's shown very promising stuff in the minors. Through four seasons in Minnesota's minor league system, Graterol went 19-6 with a 2.65 ERA, 230 strikeouts and a 1.07 WHIP through 214 innings pitched.

Graterol, according to John Shipley of the Pioneer Press, was the "hardest-throwing" prospect in the Twins' system and was considered their "top arm." The right-hander also set the Twins franchise velocity record with pitches of 101.2 and 101.9 mph against the Cleveland Indians back in September, according to Shipley. He also pitched one scoreless inning against the New York Yankees in the ALDS, striking out two batters.

Only time will tell how Verdugo and Graterol will perform in the Red Sox system.