Dodgers Team News

Dodgers: Miguel Vargas Inspired By Success of Cuban Stars Alvarez, Gurriel in MLB

Dodgers prospect Miguel Vargas comes from Cuban royalty. His father, Lazaro, was a 22-year veteran of Cuban baseball who represented his country in the Olympics two different times.

But in 2015, after 15-year-old Miguel played for Cuba’s 18U national team in Japan, Miguel and Lazaro flew to Ecuador instead of Havana. They then went to the Bahamas and eventually settled in Florida. Two years later, the Dodgers signed Miguel as an international free agent, and his pro career in the United States began.

Vargas is not on the verge of becoming an everyday player in the big leagues, and when he looks at the success other Cuban players have had, he wants that for himself, as he said in an interview at a recent event in Miami.

“I have the same mentality. There are things that I cannot control; I only control my preparation, and what I can do on the field. I want to win, I want to have a ring. Just as I am proud of what Yordan Alvarez, Yuli [Gurriel], who got a ring this year and for me they are a reference for me. I want to be on that stage too, and I want to compete, and I want to win.”

With the World Baseball Classic being played this year, Vargas was asked about the possibility of playing for Cuba again someday.

“It would mean everything to me as I said, as I said before, for me I am simply a Cuban representation of what Cuba is. I want to represent my country all the time every year that I can, as all the athletes in the world represent it, no more, however. I still think that it is not the time for me to represent it and I would like to be able to do it in the future.”

There are countless reasons Vargas is right that this year is not the right time for him to represent Cuba in the WBC, but we definitely hope both of his dreams come true, both of winning a World Series (or three or four) with the Dodgers and of one day representing Cuba in the WBC.

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Jeff Snider

Jeff was born into a Dodgers family in Southern California and is now raising a Dodgers family of his own in Utah. During his previous career as an executive at a technology company, he began writing about baseball in his spare time. After leaving corporate America in 2014, he started doing it professionally. Jeff wrote and edited for Baseball Essential for years before joining Dodgers Nation. He's also the co-host of the Locked On Dodgers podcast, a daily podcast that brings the smart fan's perspective on our Boys in Blue. Jeff has a degree in English from Brigham Young University. Favorite Player: Clayton Kershaw Favorite Moment: Kirk Gibson's homer will always have a place, but Kershaw's homer on Opening Day 2013 might be the winner.

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