DodgerHeads: Baseball Prospectus’ Jeffrey Paternostro Talks Top Dodgers Prospects

“DodgerHeads” host Jeff Spiegel was recently joined by Jeffrey Paternostro to discuss the Los Angeles Dodgers’ prospects on the Baseball Prospectus top 101 list for the 2022 season, their overall farm system and more.

The Dodgers had four prospects make the national ranking list, headlined by Miguel Vargas at No. 36. Joining him were Diego Cartaya (No. 55), Bobby Miller (No. 63) and Andy Pages (No. 68).

The most notable part of their list is that Baseball Prospectus has Vargas ranked as the Dodgers’ top prospect. The general consensus has been Cartaya is the organization’s best player in the farm system.

Vargas signed with the Dodgers as an international free agent in 2017 and mostly flew under the radar until a 2021 season that answered a lot of questions about future ability.

The 22-year-old has had defensive concerns and questions about his lack of power, but he quieted a lot of those during a season that ended with being named the Dodgers’ 2021 Branch Rickey Minor League Player Of The Year.

Vargas hit .319/.380/.526 with 23 home runs and a 141 wRC+ across his time with the High-A Great Lakes Loons and Double-A Tulsa last year. He hit 16 of those homers in 83 games while with the Drillers.

Ranking the Dodgers farm system

Although the Dodgers lacked MLB-ready position players to call up from the Minors last year, their farm system remains one of the more highly regarded across baseball.

“Generally speaking, unless you’re maybe an organization like the Tampa Bay Rays, where you’re constantly looking to add depth to your farm system and work with a pipeline of young players, your farm system is going to have ebbs and flows,” Paternostro told Spiegel.

“The Dodgers were one of the top-five systems or so in baseball a few years ago, and they’re on a little downswing. There’s a little dip right now, but it’s for the right reason because they’ve graduated top prospects into their Major League roster in meaningful roles — guys like Gavin Lux and Dustin May.

“Or they’ve traded them for meaningful pieces. They sent Keibert Ruiz and Josiah Gray out for Max Scherzer and Trea Turner. The idea for a farm system, good or bad — and preferably good — is that it will give you a pipeline of Major League players.

“You can do that by developing them, which the Dodgers have done a good job of. Or you can trade them for established Major League players, which the Dodgers also do.”

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