MLB Pipeline has continued releasing its updated prospect rankings for the 2023 season, which includes a list of the top-10 at each position. Among their latest unveilings, Los Angeles Dodgers prospect Michael Busch was listed as the No. 2 second baseman in the Minor Leagues.
Busch trails only Termarr Johnson, who was the fourth overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
After Busch on MLB Pipeline’s list are Jace Jung (Detroit Tigers), Justin Fescue (Texas Rangers), Zack Gelof (Oakland Athletics), Connor Corby (Baltimore Orioles), Edouard Julien (Minnesota Twins), Nick Gonzales (Pirates), Nick Yorke (Boston Red Sox) and Wendell Pérez (Tigers).
Busch is listed with a 55 grade on the 20-80 scouting scale by MLB Pipeline, which translates into a an above-average starter at the Major League level.
His carrying card is his bat as Busch is ranked with a 50 hit-tool and 60 power, along with a 45 running, 45 arm and 40 fielding.
MLB Pipeline’s scouting report says Busch can hit for both average and power thanks to his approach, balance, uncanny hand-eye coordination, bat speed and strength. They go on to write he has a similar offensive profile as Max Muncy, but Busch is a better pure hitter.
While Busch is not known for his defensive value, he has put in a lot of work to improve on his quickness and arm. They also report that evaluators around MLB are impressed at how he made himself into an adequate defender at second base, however, he is still best suited for first base, and he recently began to learn left. field.
Busch started the 2022 season at Double-A Tulsa and was promoted to Triple-A Oklahoma City after batting .306/.445/.667 with 11 home runs and 29 RBI in 31 games.
Following the promotion, Busch immediately made an impact with OKC, hitting a home run in his first game with the team. He finished the season batting .266/.343/.480 with 21 home runs and 79 RBI in Triple-A.
Overall, Busch slashed .274/.365/.516 between Double-A and Triple-A while leading the Minors with 118 runs scored. He also ranked third with 70 extra-base hits, fifth with 108 RBI, and sixth with 32 home runs.
Will Michael Busch make an impact for the Dodgers in 2023?
Busch has nothing left to prove in the Minor Leagues, and with the Dodgers entering a youth movement in 2023, he should get a chance to make his MLB debut. During Spring Training, Busch could get an opportunity to compete for a job as the starting second baseman and left fielder.
If Busch doesn’t earn a spot on the Opening Day roster, he should be one of the first players called up when a position player is needed.
With his offensive potential, Busch could easily end up as one of the favorites to win the National League Rookie of the Year Award for 2023. But he may also face competition from many of the fellow Dodgers prospects, including Miguel Vargas, James Outman, Bobby Miller and Gavin Stone, who are all expected to contribute to the big league club this season.
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