Andrew Friedman: Dodgers ‘Really Encouraged’ With Miguel Vargas

Miguel Vargas opened the 2023 season as the Los Angeles Dodgers’ everyday second baseman, but multiple injuries and inconsistencies at the plate led to a demotion to Triple-A Oklahoma City in July.

Vargas’ struggles began in Spring Training when he fractured his left pinky finger and was unable to swing a bat for a brief stretch. He would again be hit on the hand at the start of the regular season and never was able to find a rhythm.

Vargas hit just .195/.305/.367 with 15 doubles, four triples, seven home runs and 32 RBI in 304 plate appearances (81 games) before he was sent to OKC for the remainder of the season.

Although his rookie season didn’t go as planned, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said the team still has high hopes for Vargas, via Cary Osborne of Dodger Insider:

“Vargas is one of the more talented natural hitters I’ve seen as a Minor Leaguer coming up,” Friedman said. “So just getting back to that I think is going to be very helpful for him. And just how clear-eyed he is about it has us really encouraged leading into Spring Training.”

Still just 24 years old, it’s easy to see why the Dodgers remain optimistic with Vargas. He had somewhat of a bounce back after his demotion to Oklahoma City, posting a 119 wRC+ with 10 home runs, 43 RBI and 45 runs scored in 60 games.

Vargas will likely begin the 2024 season with OKC as there is no obvious spot for him on the Major League roster. He is blocked at second base by Mookie Betts, third base by Max Muncy and left field by Teoscar Hernández.

Vargas still represents valuable depth and should see some time with the Dodgers when they are in need of a bat on their roster.

Dodgers believe Miguel Vargas could benefit from struggles

Friedman previously said that he believes Vargas could benefit from the adversity he faced during the 2023 season.

Learning how to deal with adversity and struggles is a necessary skill for baseball players as they fail more often than not at the plate and will always find themselves in a tough stretch at some point. Being able to bounce back from failure is a skill that can make or break a player’s career.

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