Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Ranked as the third-best Los Angeles Dodgers prospect heading into the 2023 season, Miguel Vargas began his Spring Training with an unexpected request from the club: not to swing his bat in Cactus League games.
On track to be included on the Dodgers Opening Day roster first time in his young career, the 23-year-old was instructed to simply watch pitches in-game after suffering a hairline fracture in his right pinky during a workout early into camp.
For the first time all spring, Vargas was finally cleared to swing on Thursday against the Oakland Athletics.
Predictably, Vargas was determined to swing at the first pitch he saw, via SportsNet LA:
“I mean, 100% I was going to swing at the first pitch. I was so excited to be able to swing today. I feel great.”
Although Vargas fouled off the first pitch he saw, the at-bat ended on a ground-rule double against A’s starter Adam Oller:
“It felt great. I wasn’t expecting that but I’m seeing the ball well and I feel better. I was happy to get that double.”
Vargas’ first-inning double would be his only hit on the day, as he went 1-for-3 in the Dodgers’ 1-0 loss. He entered play having gone 0-for-8. Despite not being able to swing his bat up until Thursday, Vargas did draw a walk in each of his first four games.
Now with full playing capabilities, and the ability to play across various positions, Vargas will spend the next few weeks preparing for the regular season.
Miguel Vargas 2022 performance
Signed by the Dodgers as an international free agent in 2017, Vargas has spent the last few years garnering attention and working his way through a talented Minor League farm system.
Called up to make his MLB debut in August of last season, Vargas’ big league stint lasted 47 games and saw him go 8-for-47 with a double, home run and eight RBI.
Spending much more of the season with Triple-A Oklahoma City, Vargas was consistently one of their best players last season, collecting a .304/.404/.511 slash line across 113 games with 17 round-trippers. Vargas hit 32 doubles to tie for third in the category amongst all players in the Triple-A West division, while his 82 RBI placed eighth.
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