Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Miguel Vargas was originally tabbed as the Los Angeles Dodgers’ everyday option at second base last season, but a few injuries and inconsistent play forced the front office’s hand in optioning him to Triple-A.
The 24-year-old utilized players and coaches around him when preparing for 2023, leaning on Dodgers third base coach Dino Ebel and veteran infielder Miguel Rojas. However, Vargas suffered a pair of hand injuries, which could be a reason for his offensive downturn.
Despite posting a .195/.305/.367 slash in 81 games for the Dodgers this past season, there’s still a fair amount of positives surrounding the young talent. The Dodgers also still believe in his ability, per Juan Toribio of MLB.com:
Vargas struggled offensively in his first extended taste of the Majors last season, but the Dodgers still believe the former top prospect can be a key contributor at the big league level.
Following his demotion to Triple-A with the Oklahoma City Dodgers, Vargas teetered on the line of middling performance. But from September 1 through the rest of the season, he posted a 120 wRC+ with a .270/.400/.500 slash in 90 plate appearances.
Vargas has been praised by scouts for his natural hitting ability and development isn’t always linear, so the Dodgers are not ready to give up on him yet.
He is likely to open the season at Triple-A, but he should see some time with the Dodgers when they are in need of a bat on their roster.
How Miguel Vargas was impacted by Dodgers signing Teoscar Hernández
The Dodgers signing Teoscar Hernández presents them with a true, everyday outfielder, clearing the need to run a two-man platoon at both corner outfield positions. But the trickle-down effect reaches other parts of the roster, namely Vargas.
Dodgers general manager Brandon Gomes hinted at the possibility of Vargas seeing time in left field, but that plan has lost a lot of its runway with how the offseason has panned out.
With the addition of Hernández, the Dodgers outfield picture is beginning to look like a crowded group, and the team still needs a starting pitcher.
That could lend to Vargas becoming a Dodgers trade chip as well. But youth is on Vargas’ side more than recently traded Michael Busch, which should allow him more time to stick with the team.
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!