Dodgers Team News

Dodgers News: JD Martinez Believes Miguel Vargas is ‘Something Special’

One of the reasons the Dodgers went after designated hitter JD Martinez this offseason was his reputation as a leader on and off the field. With Justin Turner departing, it’s likely they felt a need to bring in a similar figure to help fill the void.

Martinez is already showing that leadership, hitting with rookie Miguel Vargas in Miami a week or two ago. At Mookie Betts’ charity bowling event this week, Martinez was asked about his relationship with the young Cuban prospect.

“Yeah, Rob [hitting coach Robert Van Scoyoc] … told me about this kid Vargy and how much ‘he looks up to you and idolizes you’ and it kind of happened after Rob came down to Ft. Lauderdale to get some work after I signed. He brough Vargy out and we hit it off. He’s a very humble kid, great kid, you can tell he comes from a good family. A lot of talent, I’m excited about him. I’ve talked to the Dodgers about him personally and I think he can be something special, he’s got great tools and great ability.”

Vargas definitely comes from a good baseball family — his father, Lazaro, won two Olympic gold medals playing for Cuba in 1992 and 1996 and is considered one of the best third basemen in Cuban baseball history. The younger Vargas signed with the Dodgers in 2017 at the age of 17 two years after he and his family defected during a baseball trip to Japan.

Vargas hit his way through the minors, making his big-league debut last summer. He’s slated to be LA’s starting second baseman this season, assuming he can hold it down defensively. Every scout agrees Vargas is going to hit in the big leagues, but the question has always been where he’d play defensively.

Now that Vargas is working with Martinez, there’s even less question he’ll hit. Martinez has helped teammates everywhere he’s gone, and it’s awesome to see him immediately working with a young prospect before he’s even played a game with Los Angeles.

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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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