A scout's take on what Red Sox are getting in Mookie Betts trade

Rob Bradford
February 09, 2020 - 7:01 pm
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While we wait for this trade to be finalized, let's take a look at what the Red Sox will likely be getting back in exchange for Mookie Betts and David Price.

The following is the take of one scout who has been assigned to the Dodgers' minor-league system for the past few years and has extensive knowledge of the three players headed to Boston.

JETER DOWNS, INFIELDER

(The 21-year-old former first-round pick briefly reached Double-A in 2019, playing most of the season in Single-A)

"I really can't tell you where he's going to end up playing. He's playing shortstop OK right now, but he's a really thick body. His body is starting to look a little more like (Jean) Segura. He's thick in the legs. He's getting stronger but he's getting thicker and I think he might slow down and that might send him to either second or third. But I would play him at shortstop and see if he can play there because the bat is going to play. This guy is a big-leaguer. Not a high-ceiling guy, but the bat is going to play.

"He's kind of a Charlie Hayes-type guy. Not body-wise, but the way he hits, gap-to-gap. And he has pull-power. He does have power. If he pulls the ball he will hit it out of the ballpark. I would say 15-20 home runs, .260, somewhere like that."

ALEX VERDUGO, OUTFIELDER

(The 23-year-old played 109 games for the Dodgers in 2019)

"My take on him is the kid is very talented. He can hit. The guy can hit. He is just a little bit immature. The Dodgers clubhouse was good for him because they treated him like the little kid brother in the clubhouse. But he is immature and it is going to come out at times. But he can hit. It's more of a line-drive swing right now. He will hit for average but I think as he matures as a hitter he will hit more home runs. This guy can hit, but the makeup issues are just immaturity and how he fits on a club because some guys get turned off by those guys. He played harder than he had in the past, but at times he has had trouble running out ground balls and things like that. They have been on him. He will do it for a while but then they have to get on him again. But the ability is there.

"Defensively he's good. Corner outfielder. He can play center field but it's not elite center. He's got a plus-arm. He's fine."

CONNOR WONG, CATCHER

(The 23-year-old split 2019 between Single-A and Double-A)

"He's an average catch and throw guy. His arm ranges from fringy to average. He is a contact hitter. He's a backup catcher in the big leagues for me. He's a smaller guy. (Note: "Smaller" referenced weight more than height. Per Baseball-Reference he stands at 6-foot-1). Durability will be a problem. But he makes contact and he is a pretty athletic kid. He's just small. I think he will be a decent backup catcher."