Immediately after the Dodgers were bounced from the playoffs, president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman hinted at the possibility of a youth movement in Los Angeles. A week or two later, CEO Stan Kasten reiterated that possibility.
One of the key elements of any youth movement would likely be Miguel Vargas, who was the Pacific Coast League’s Prospect of the Year and L.A.’s Minor League Player of the Year. Vargas got a cup of coffee with the Dodgers in 2022, and while it didn’t go well overall, he showed flashes of the potential that has the Dodgers so excited.
When L.A. manager Dave Roberts met with the media on Tuesday at the Winter Meetings, he was asked about Vargas potentially being the Dodgers’ everyday third baseman in 2023.
“I expect Miguel Vargas to have an impact on our club. At what position, I really can’t speak to right now. In the same vein of where Gavin [Lux] is going to play next year.
“There’s a lot of things to still do. But he’s at the ballpark this week trying to get better. So Miguel Vargas is going to be very exciting for all of us. I’m excited about Miguel.”
The phrase “get better” does a lot of work in that quote. Everyone has always agreed that Vargas can hit; the only question has been, where will he play on defense? His third base defense in the minors led many to believe that position is simply not an option for him at the big-league level. He also played some first and second base, but with Freddie Freeman entrenched at first and the shift going away to make second a much harder position, neither of those seem likely.
Which might leave just two options: left field and designated hitter. The team is unlikely to just give up and make a 23-year-old a full-time DH, but he’ll likely get his share of at-bats there. If Vargas is “at the ballpark this week” as Roberts says, it’s likely to try to become a passable left-fielder, since L.A. has an opening there and it’s a good place to hide a guy with a great bat and not much glove.
Wherever it is, though, we’re likely to see the version off Vargas on offense that has had everyone so excited.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube Channel yet? Subscribe and hit that notification bell to stay up to date on all the latest Dodgers news, rumors, interviews, live streams, and more!