Since signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers as an international free agent in 2017, Miguel Vargas has shown incredible offensive talent at each Minor League level and this year received an opportunity to make his MLB debut.
Prior to the 2022 season, Vargas was ranked as the No. 3 Dodgers prospect by MLB Pipeline and was called up to the active roster following a trade that sent Jake Lamb to the Seattle Mariners.
Vargas was penciled into the lineup on August 3 and went 2-for-4 with two RBI against the San Francisco Giants, providing an early glimpse of what the most talented hitter in the Dodgers farm system can do at the Major League level.
Because of his incredible season with Triple-A Oklahoma City, Vargas was named Player of the Year by Baseball America for that level.
Vargas batted .304/.402/.511 with 17 home runs, 82 RBI, 99 runs scored and 16 stolen bases over 112 games with OKC, also earning a selection to the Pacific Coast League All-Star Team.
However, in the 17 games with the Dodgers following his debut, Vargas had a .140 batting average in 46 plate appearances. But the Dodgers felt strongly enough about his ability to include him on the postseason roster against the San Diego Padres in the National League Division Series.
Justin Turner spoke very highly of Vargas and what he brought to the clubhouse, noting the rookie would play a key role in postseason moments. Unfortunately, the Dodgers’ magic ran out and Vargas didn’t register an at-bat in the 3-1 NLDS loss to the Padres.
Vargas expressed his appreciation for the opportunity and inclusion on the playoff roster, citing his path from OKC to the MLB.
After the Dodgers declined to re-sign Turner and watched as Trea Turner signed a 10-year, $300 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, the team figures to shuffle players around the infield, which should create opportunities for Vargas to receive extensive playing time.
Miguel Vargas 2022 highlight
In his MLB debut, Vargas roped an RBI double with an 106 mph exit velocity to give the Dodgers a lead in his first at-bat. He went on to steal third base following the extra-base hit, describing his feeling ‘that nobody could stop me’ when swiping that bag.
Vargas was credited with another RBI in his next plate appearance after a single brought in another run.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said the 23-year-old will see a significant role with the team during the 2023 season, making Vargas the first rookie position player in a few years to have that opoortunity.
Vargas should benefit from extended time up with the Dodgers this year and the addition of veteran slugger J.D. Martinez.
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