Dodgers Prospect Miguel Vargas Declined Spot On Cuba’s Roster For 2023 World Baseball Classic

With preparations for the regular season in full swing, a number of players around Major League Baseball and the Los Angeles Dodgers are also readying themselves to take part in the 2023 World Baseball Classic.

Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, Julio Urías and Will Smith make up a portion of Dodgers players who will represent their respective countries after the tournament’s six-year hiatus. Not listed among those is Miguel Vargas, who began his offseason work early in the winter with an expectation-filled season upcoming.

According to Jorge Castillo of the L.A. Times, Vargas opted to forego the opportunity to play for Cuba in the WBC in favor of continuing the preparation for his first full MLB season:

The 23-year-old will be asked to play a versatile role this year, and although the Dodgers haven’t explicitly laid out a plan for Vargas defensively, president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said he’ll see plenty of time at second base.

Shortly after the Dodgers acquired veteran infielder Miguel Rojas in a trade with the Miami Marlins, Vargas reached out and the two were seen working on defensive drills.

Vargas batted .304/.402/.511 with 17 home runs, 82 RBI, 99 runs scored and 16 stolen bases in 112 games with Triple-A Oklahoma City last year. He had a few highlights with the Dodgers and was included on their postseason roster against the San Diego Padres in their National League Division Series.

Miguel Vargas impressed J.D. Martinez

Along with seeking out Rojas for offseason training, Vargas additionally worked with newcomer J.D. Martinez, and the veteran had high praise for the Dodgers prospect.

“Rob (Van Scoyoc) was always kind of telling me about this kid Vargy and how much he looks up to me and idolizes me,” Martinez said. “It kind of happened when Rob came down to Fort Lauderdale to do some work after I signed. He brought Vargy out and we kind of hit it off.

“He’s a very humble kid, a great kid. You can tell he comes from a good family. Has a lot of talent, and I’m excited about him. I’ve talked to the Dodgers about him and I think he can be something special. He has great tools and great ability.”

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