Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers have four prospects who received recognition on the Baseball Prospectus Top 101 list for the 2022 regular season, headlined by Miguel Vargas at No. 36.
Joining Vargas on the ranking of the top prospects are Diego Cartaya (No. 55), Bobby Miller (No. 63) and Andy Pages (No. 68).
The most notable part of their list is that Baseball Prospectus has Vargas ranked as the Dodgers’ top prospect. The general consensus has been Cartaya is the organization’s best player in the farm system.
Vargas signed with the Dodgers as an international free agent in 2017 and has mostly flown under the radar until a 2021 season that answered a lot of questions about his future ability.
The 22-year-old has had defensive concerns and questions about his lack of power, but quieted a lot of those during a season that ended with him being named the Dodgers’ 2021 Branch Rickey Minor League Player Of The Year.
Vargas hit .319/.380/.526 with 23 home runs and a 141 wRC+ across his time with the High-A Great Lakes Loons and Double-A Tulsa, but it was after his promotion that he really took off. He hit 16 of his homers in 83 games while with the Drillers, which is encouraging because he was at his best against the highest-level competition he faced.
It also continued a trend of being a very productive hitter at every level of the Minor Leagues. Vargas often received comparisons to Tampa Bay Rays’ first baseman Yandy Diaz, who is a fine player, but if his power continues to develop, he could end up being a star.
This is also the first list that has seen Pages included among top 100 prospects, but that number should continue to rise during the season.
Pages has done nothing but rake since the Dodgers signed him as an international free agent out of Cuba in 2018. What makes it impressive is he has been doing it against players who are on average two to three years older than him.
Last season as a 20-year-old in High-A, Pages hit .265/.394/.539 with a 152 wRC+ and a league-leading 31 home runs in 120 games. His elite production was even a small step back from his 2019 season when he batted .298/.398/.651 with a 165 wRC+ and 19 home runs in 63 games at the Rookie Ball level.
Pages has elite power and a strong arm but will need to cut his strikeout rate as he continues to progress through the Minor Leagues. He is still few seasons from his MLB debut but he looks like a prototypical slugging corner outfielder.
Cartaya notably was part of the Dodgers’ 2018-2019 international signing period class. He was a consensus top-three prospect among the international talent pool and has quickly risen through the ranks with a breakout 2021 season.
The 20-year-old catcher is still a few years from his MLB debut but has tremendous power and garnered praise for his defensive ability and game calling. Cartaya is often compared to Kansas City Royals All-Star Salvador Perez.
Miller was the Dodgers’ first-round pick (No. 29 overall) in the 2020 MLB Draft out of Louisville.
The 22-year-old right-hander has an electric fastball that can reach triple-digits, a wipeout slider, developing curveball, and decent changeup. There is a strong chance he makes his MLB debut at some point in 2022.
Pepiot, Busch surprisingly left off Baseball Prospectus top 101
The two notable subtractions from Baseball Prospectus’ list are Ryan Pepiot and Michael Busch, who were both ranked in the top 100 by Baseball America.
Busch was ranked No. 76 while Pepiot was ranked No. 99 by Baseball America. However, Pages was left off their list.
Busch has been a very productive hitter since the Dodgers selected him in the first round (no. 31 overall) of the 2019 Draft, but there are concerns about his defensive ability.
Pepiot has one of the best changeups in the Minors, if not the best overall, and he pairs that with a strong fastball and decent curveball. He could be a top of the rotation arm if he can fix his control, but he also has the potential to end up as a reliever if he can’t sort out his walk issues.
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