Yankees’ Alex Verdugo starting to find offensive groove after slow start

Juan Soto, the Yankees’ biggest offseason acquisition, has been on fire during the Bombers’ 10-2 start to the season, hitting .348 with a .978 OPS, two home runs and 11 RBIs.

On the other hand, Alex Verdugo, who was also acquired with the hope for an offensive boost, has yet to find the same success at the plate.

Manager Aaron Boone, however, believes consistency is just around the corner for Verdugo — and his instincts appeared to be on track Tuesday night.

Alex Verdugo belts a solo homer in the second inning of the Yankees' 3-2 win over the Marlins.
Alex Verdugo belts a solo homer in the second inning of the Yankees’ 3-2 win over the Marlins. Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

In the bottom of the second inning, Verdugo hit his first homer in The Bronx as a Yankee, putting the Bombers on the board first in their 3-2 win against the Marlins.

He hit the solo bomb to right field, which warranted a lot of barking from his teammates — a trend he started in Arizona after hitting his first Yankees homer.

“It was nice to do it early, get the lead off of it and kinda help the game settle in a little bit was huge.

“I love it. I love it,” he added about the celebration. “Anytime I hear the teammates barking … it’s a lot of fun. They are running with it and we love it.”

Last year, in his first 11 games with the Red Sox, he recorded 14 hits across 44 at-bats, hitting .318 with one home run, five RBIs and a .816 OPS. In his first 38 at-bats this season, he hit .211 with a .611 OPS.

“That’s a matter of time,” Boone said before the game about Verdugo finding his stride. “He’s such a good hitter, bat to ball, he’ll get on one of those stretches where he’ll be getting a couple hits a day through a couple weeks.”

Verdugo gave some glimpses of his potential earlier on in the season, including a sacrifice fly on Opening Day against the Astros to knock in Judge for the winning run and a two-run home run in the 10th inning against the Diamondbacks to help the Yankees to a 6-5 win in 11 innings.

It wasn’t until Monday night when he gave his best offensive effort in a 3-for-3 outing that included a double to left field during the Yankees’ six-run fourth inning after Anthony Volpe’s three-run home run in the 7-0 victory.

After Tuesday’s home run, he said he is starting to see things click.

“Even through the first 10 days, whatever it was, there was a couple good at bats in there to where I felt like my swing was clicking. I was just mishitting the ball,” Verdugo said. “I’ve always been a guy that makes contact and sometimes it’s a little bit tough because I make weak contact if I’m not going right. I think the biggest thing was just trusting the process, trusting that I can let the ball travel. We are starting to see some results now and a lot better swings.”


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