The Los Angeles Dodgers have been fortunate enough to churn out top-end talent from their farm system in the last decade, and although he isn’t touted as one of the elite prospects of the class, Miguel Vargas made his MLB debut on Aug. 3 and made enough of an impression to earn himself a spot on the postseason roster.
A red-hot second half with Triple-A Oklahoma City earned Vargas an initial callup, and he made the most of that game, roping a double and tallying two RBI against the San Francisco Giants. But his opportunities were limited on a stacked Dodgers roster, and he was optioned back to OKC for the rest of the month after just two games.
Vargas posted a 1.112 on-base plus slugging percentage in his final 19 games with OKC and was called back up by the Dodgers once active rosters expanded in September. Then the need for a right-handed bat off of the bench with some pop earned him a spot for the National League Division Series.
Vargas didn’t appear in a postseason game but nevertheless was appreciative and humbled to be with the Dodgers for the NLDS, per Jack Harris of the L.A. Times:
“A couple months ago, I was in OKC, trying to get my debut, and now I’m here, on the roster for the postseason,” Vargas said. “It was a long way. It means a lot. I don’t even have the words to describe it.”
The Dodgers have seen their top prospects produce at a high level since 2013 with the likes of Joc Pederson, Corey Seager, Cody Bellinger and Julio Urías. Vargas can easily be drowned out with sheer expectations.
However, when surrounded by names like Freddie Freeman, Mookie Betts, Will Smith, Max Muncy, and other players who have won on the game’s biggest stage, Vargas’ ability is worthy of being penciled in wherever he can in the Dodgers lineup.
Miguel Vargas outlook for 2023
The Dodgers should have multiple open slots in their roster heading into next season, and Vargas should have at least an opportunity barring any potential free-agent signings that make that vision clouded.
With Justin Turner’s option likely to be declined by the team, he could still remain with the Dodgers moving forward under a new contract. But without a clear view of what the roster will shake out to be with Trea Turner being a free agent as well, the Dodgers have enough opportunity on the roster for Vargas and his ability to play multiple positions.
It’s unclear if the Dodgers believe enough in Vargas to head up the everyday role at third base, but his batter profile provides a strong case that wherever they can find a spot for him to start in expanded time, they should.
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