Dodgers Team News

Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Waiting for Miguel Vargas to ‘Get Better’

In the offseason, the Dodgers teased a sort of youth movement coming for the 2023 season. One of the names we heard most frequently was Miguel Vargas. The rookie infielder worked hard over the winter to learn a new position at second base and the expectation was that his career .313 bat would follow from the minor leagues.

However, we’re now about a month into the season and the early reviews are mixed. Dave Roberts recently offered up his assessment of the 23-year-old, and he feels there’s a good amount left in the tank.

“I think it’s been … OK. Part of having him take on this position this year is we knew there would be some growing pains. But there’s also an expectation he will get better. There are some plays I think we’d like to have back, but the bet is on the person, the player and the athlete.”

Via LA Times

In this case, Doc is not just assessing Miggy’s offense. He’s factoring in the first extended look at second base as well. To the trained eye, Vargas has been serviceable but not great at the position. The glove is solid but the arm hasn’t been as strong as you might have hoped from someone transitioning from third base.

His -4 defensive runs saved is third worst among second basemen with at least 150 innings on the field and his -11.5 UZR/150 is second worst. As LA Times beat writer Mike DiGiavanna said it, “Vargas has been … well, OK. He is neither an early Gold Glove Award favorite nor a glaring defensive liability.”

The easy fix — or blinders to the far-from-elite defense — would be Miguel’s bat heating up. Notably, in Dodgers wins, Vargas is hitting .314 (11-35) and .118 (4-34) in losses. One more odd stats thing to note, the right-handed batter has struggled greatly vs left-handed pitches, hitting .105 with a .366 OPS on the season.

Considering the options behind him, as in not many, Vargas isn’t in danger of losing his spot in the lineup or on the active roster. If anyone is challenging from down on the farm right now, number 18 ranked prospect, Jorbit Vivas, is tearing the cover off the ball posting an OPS of 1.193 in 17 games at Double-A.

Another prospect that could potentially take over at second is Michael Busch. One issue/not issue with both Vivas and Busch is that they’re both left-handed batters, which the current active roster is already flush with.

Clint Pasillas

Clint Pasillas has been writing, blogging, and podcasting about the Los Angeles Dodgers since 2008. Under Clint's leadership as the Lead Editor, Dodgers Nation has grown into one of the most read baseball sites in the world with millions of unique visitors per month. Find him online on Twitter/X or his YouTube channel!

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