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Dodgers: Miguel Vargas Makes Top 3B Prospects List for 2023

As we approach the start of the 2023 season — pitchers and catchers report in about three weeks! — it’s an exciting time to look at the prospects who could make a big splash this year. It’s an even bigger deal than usual for the Dodgers, who will likely have a few prospects playing pretty big roles for the team in 2023.

Over at MLB.com, they’ve been running through their top prospects lists for each position, and they recently got to third base. Perhaps the prospect most sure to get serious playing time with LA this year is third baseman Miguel Vargas, even if we’re still not totally sure that playing time will come at third base.



But MLB’s prospect expert Jonathan Mayo likes Vargas enough to put him fifth on the top 10 list:

The Top 10 (ETA)

  1. Gunnar Henderson, Orioles (2023)
  2. Brett Baty, Mets (2023)
  3. Curtis Mead, Rays (2023)
  4. Josh Jung, Rangers (2023)
  5. Miguel Vargas, Dodgers (2023)
  6. Jacob Berry, Marlins (2025)
  7. Cam Collier, Reds (2025)
  8. Colt Keith, Tigers (2024)
  9. Coby Mayo, Orioles (2024)
  10. Deyvison De Los Santos, D-backs (2024)

Mayo then breaks out some individual tools, and when it comes to hitting, Vargas appears to be The Man.

Top tools
Hit: Mead, Vargas (65)
All Mead has done is hit pretty much wherever he’s been, with a .306/.376/.517 line. He had a .922 OPS at the upper levels in 2022 after hitting .313 in the Arizona Fall League in 2021… sense a trend? Vargas has similarly mashed at every stop, with a Minor League career line of .313/.390/.488. Rapidly advancing up levels didn’t hurt him — he hit .304 in Triple-A last year — en route to his first callup to the big leagues.

Power: Henderson, Vargas (65)
Henderson is still only 21 and even though he slugged .531 in the Minors a year ago, he’s just scratching the surface of tapping into his power from the left side of the plate and he hit the ball very hard during his big league debut. Vargas’ pop started showing up for real in 2021 when he hit 23 homers and slugged .526, then slugged .511 in Triple-A last year and that plus hit tool means he’s going to get to the power consistently.

Those 65 grades are on the 20-80 scouting scale, and a 65 basically translates to “All-Star level.” Vargas is going to hit in the big leagues, and he’s going to hit well. Of course, he doesn’t show up in any of the defensive categories, and that’s always been the question about him, but we know he’s working hard this offseason and recently reached out to new teammate Miguel Rojas to talk defense with him.

Is Vargas’s future at third base? Second base? Left field? Designated hitter? It’s anyone’s guess right now, although DH in 2023 doesn’t seem likely simply because Los Angeles signed JD Martinez. But as the old saying goes, Vargas’s best position is “right-handed batter’s box,” and he’s going to play that position very, very well.

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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. He's been blogging about baseball and the Dodgers 2004 and doing it professionally since 2015. Favorite Player: Clayton Kershaw Favorite Moment: Kirk Gibson's homer will always have a place, but Kershaw homer on Opening Day 2013 might be the winner.

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