Justin Turner: Miguel Vargas Will Have ‘Big At-Bats’ For Dodgers In Postseason

The Los Angeles Dodgers postseason roster for the National League Division Series against the San Diego Padres produced some mild surprises, including Miguel Vargas earning the final bench spot over Hanser Alberto.

Vargas made his MLB debut this past August but only appeared in two games before returning to Triple-A Oklahoma City. He then received another call-up when active rosters expanded in September and began to find some consistent success as the regular season drew to a close.

Justin Turner expects Vargas will benefit from the experience in the Dodgers clubhouse and have some important at-bats in the postseason. “It’s a great locker room for experience and veteran guys,” Turner began.

“You look around the room, Mookie Betts, David Price, Clayton Kershaw, Freddie Freeman, Trea Turner. It’s really, I think, a good environment for young guys to come in and see all these guys that they probably looked up to while they were growing up and dreaming of being in the Major Leagues and now getting to put on the same uniform as them and share a locker room.

“Miguel Vargas is the perfect example. He has been incredible since he has been up here just having conversations with guys, talking about it. I was talking to him the other day, and he was like, ‘Man, this is completely different than what I imagined the Major Leagues were.’ He’s like, ‘I’ve never been a part of a team that is a team. I’ve never been a part of that.’

“He said ‘It’s just been awesome every day coming in and getting a chance.’ I mean, you get to talk to some pretty good hitters, right? Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, Trea Turner, Will Smith. Max Muncy. You go up and down the lineup, there’s a lot of knowledge, a lot of good information.

“Vargy has been unbelievable at being a sponge and soaking it all in. I have a feeling he is going to take some good at-bats for us, some big at-bats for us.”

Vargas hit just .170/.200/.255 with one double, one home run and eight RBI in 50 plate appearances across 18 games at the Major League level this season, while seeing time at three different positions.

The 22-year-old was named the Dodgers’ 2022 Minor League Player of the Year and Triple-A Player of the Year by Baseball America after an impressive season for the Oklahoma City Dodgers.

Why did Miguel Vargas make Dodgers roster over Hanser Alberto?

Despite Vargas’ limited experience and success thus far, his potential and the Dodgers having utility players on the roster led to him being selected over Alberto.

“Hanser took it like a pro. Hanser’s value, it’s been amazing what he has done for our ballclub on the field, in the clubhouse,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.

“I think sort of the thought behind it is Vargas is a hit tool, the bat to ball, and the foot speed. With our roster, we’ve got a lot of coverage infield-wise, outfield-wise. But to have somebody that can run like him, that the bat-to-ball to potentially drive in a run, we feel really comfortable with that.”

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