The Los Angeles Dodgers farm system was well represented on Baseball Prospectus top 101 prospect list for the 2023 season, headlined by Diego Cartaya (No. 19), Bobby Miller (No. 27) and Miguel Vargas (No. 39) among the nine listed.
Cartaya, Miller and Vargas have been named on numerous prospects lists in the past year as the organization’s top talent. Remaining Dodgers prospects named by Baseball Prospectus are Gavin Stone (No. 50), Nick Nastrini (No. 54), Dalton Rushing (No. 56), Michael Busch (No. 59), Nick Frasso (No. 79) and Andy Pages (No. 90).
The club’s well-known success at building a consistently deep Minor League system has regularly been highlighted since president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman took over, and it seems like this could be the most plentiful its been in some time.
Cartaya leads the group of nine Dodgers listed by Baseball Prospectus, and at just 21 years old, he was recently ranked MLB Pipeline’s No. 2 catching prospect in all of baseball. He projects as an All-Star caliber player and has been praised for his advanced IQ behind the plate.
In his time between Single-A Rancho Cucamonga and High-A Great Lakes last year, Cartaya hit a combined .254/.389/.503 with 22 doubles, 22 home runs and 72 RBI.
For the 23-year-old Miller, a former first-round pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, he’s coming off a season in which he logged 145 strikeouts in 112.1 innings between Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City.
He’s so sought after that the Pittsburgh Pirates were rumored to want Miller as the headline piece in a trade for outfielder Bryan Reynolds. Miller’s top-of-the-rotation stuff is only rivaled by another righty who rose through the Minors just as fast.
Stone was selected in the fifth round of the 2020 Draft and in stops between High-A, Double-A and Triple-A, he carried a combined 1.48 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and notched 168 strikeouts in 121.2 innings of work. Stone was promoted from Tulsa to Oklahoma City with Miller, and the two could be joined at the hip in their eventual rise to MLB.
Heading into the 2023 season, both Miller and Stone were ranked top-10 right-handed pitching prospects by MLB Pipeline. However, Stone’s most prestigious accolade might be being named the Dodgers Minor League Pitcher of the Year for the 2022 season.
Vargas is the most MLB-ready bat in the Dodgers farm system, and with the expectation he will begin the year with the team, the praise he earned from manager Dave Roberts eluding to his ‘significant role’ should be followed closely.
In 113 games for the OKC Dodgers, Vargas carried a .304/.404/.511 batting line with 32 doubles, 17 home runs, and 82 RBI. His inclusion on the Dodgers roster this upcoming season is the first top offensive bat the club has brought up from their farm in quite a few years.
Nastrini is another who enjoyed success at two levels last season, going a combined 6-4 with a 3.93 ERA and 35% strikeout rate for the Loons and Drillers.
Rushing only appeared in 30 games but hit an impressive .404/.522/.740 with 11 doubles, eight home runs and 30 RBI. Rushing began his professional career with the Arizona Complex League Dodgers but only played in two games for the affiliate before reporting to the Quakes.
Busch began last season with the Drillers but was promoted to Triple-A in May and finished the year at that level. He hit a combined .274/.365/.516 with 38 doubles, 32 home runs and 108 RBI. Busch is among the Dodgers prospects who could make his MLB debut in 2023.
Frasso has quickly gained notoriety since being acquired by the Dodgers in their trade with the Toronto Blue Jays at the 2022 deadline. L.A. also acquired Moises Brito in the trade that sent Mitch White and Alex De Jesus to the Blue Jays.
Pages spent all of 2022 with the Drillers, batting .236/.336/.468 with 29 doubles, 26 home runs and 80 RBI in 132 games.
Miguel Vargas named Triple-A and PCL player of the year
After a prolific 2022 season in the Minor Leagues, Vargas was named as the Pacific Coast League’s top prospect. His batting average and on-base percentage ranked second among qualified hitters and he tied the PCL lead with fellow Dodgers prospect Jason Martin in runs scored with 100.
Vargas was just one of 11 prospects with at least 350 at-bats to post a .300 average, .400 on-base percentage, and .500 slugging.
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