Going into the 2022 season, Baseball Prospectus ranked outfielder Andy Pages as the Dodgers’ number-four prospect, behind only Miguel Vargas, Diego Cartaya, and Bobby Miller. In that evaluation, here’s what they had to say about Pages’ future:
Pages is an average runner right now, but already doesn’t really have the foot speed for center, and will likely lose a half step or two in the coming years. He should be a perfectly adequate defender in right—with that flashy arm making runners think twice about going first-to-third—but a corner outfield outcome does mean he will have to make some refinements to the approach and swing decisions to be a solid regular.
A year is a long time, though, and heading into 2023, Pages has dropped to number nine on BP’s Los Angeles list, having been leapfrogged by Gavin Stone, Nick Nastrini, Dalton Rushing, Michael Busch, and Nick Frasso. Look at the latest evaluation and see if you can spot the differences.
Pages’ offensive profile was always going to be tested in Double-A, and the 2022 results were mixed. His extra-base hit rate fell a little bit, but he still smacked over 25 bombs with plenty of doubles, to boot. His K-rate was almost bang on the same, and while he hit a few more ground balls, he still has an elite flyball rate. However, staff reports on Pages questioned the strength of the swing decisions in Double-A and wondered whether he would stick in the outfield. He was an average runner on last year’s report, but he’s lost speed and gotten stiffer in his actions. If he’s a first baseman or designated hitter, merely 25+ bombs might not be enough given the offensive bar at those spots.
Offensively, it sounds like Pages is still a very similar prospect. He has a ton of power, and he’s working to refine his approach as he rises through the minor-league ranks. Last year, they said he’d probably lose a step or two “in the coming years”; this year, it sounds like those steps have been lost. Last year, they were talking about how he wasn’t going to stick in center field; this year, they’re wondering if he can even stick in a corner outfield spot.
To be sure, some of Pages’ drop in the prospect rankings has more to do with other guys than about him. Last year’s top three are still this year’s top three (albeit in a slightly different order), Stone shot up through the system like a rocket last year, and Rushing and Frasso weren’t even in the organization a year ago.
But still, this is an alarming development in Pages’ prospect career. Ultimately, it doesn’t determine anything about Pages’ future — plenty of players have been top prospects and flamed out, and plenty of others have become huge stars in the big leagues without ever gracing a prospect list. In the end, Pages’ future will be determined by his development as a ballplayer.
But we’d be lying if we said it wasn’t a little concerning.
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