Dodgers Infielder Gets Rave Review from Top Prospect Evaluator

Dodgers prospect Miguel Vargas continues to hit, but it was his defensive improvement that really stood out in Keith Law’s evaluation of him.

It’s Top 100 Prospects list season, and the latest installment comes from Keith Law of The Athletic. The Dodgers have done well on all of these lists, but perhaps nowhere better than Law’s list, where they have eight players in the top 100, more than any other team.

Coming in at number 23 overall and LA’s number two is infielder Miguel Vargas. Vargas batted .304/.404/.511 in Triple-A last year, and while his short time in the big leagues wasn’t as successful, everyone remains very high on him offensively, including Law.

Vargas was arguably the best hitter in the PCL last year, and certainly the best one under the age of 26, hitting .304/.404/.511 with just a 14.6 percent strikeout rate for Oklahoma City while playing four different positions, putting him in line to be the Dodgers’ second baseman this year if Gavin Lux slides over to short. … We didn’t see his best bolts in the majors but he’s topped 110 mph off the bat in the minors and hits a ton of line drives, with a swing that might make him more of a 40 doubles/20 homers guy than a 30 homer guy, although either way he’s likely to post OBPs in the upper .300s. 

Let’s see, an OBP in the high .300s, a fair number of homers, and a ton of doubles. Can you make a career out of that? We can look no further than Freddie Freeman to see that’s absolutely the recipe to be a big star. In fact, Vargas’s .304/.404/.511 line in the minors last year was very similar to Freeman’s .325/.407/.511.

The concern about Vargas has always been where he would play defensively. Last year, Law wrote that Vargas had only a small chance of staying at third base and was likely destined for first base. This year? Well, the tone is different.

Vargas has always been able to hit, but his body has improved substantially since he first broke out in 2019, when scouts questioned whether he’d get too heavy or slow-footed for third base; now he’s a plus runner underway and there’s no doubt he could stay at third or handle second.

“No doubt”? We’ll take that, for sure. Add it all up, and Law sees a star in Vargas.

I think he’ll be … a high-OBP hitter who smashes a ton of doubles, maybe getting to 50 or so in his peak years, with solid-average defense at second or third, but maybe has years where he hits “only” 15-18 homers and is quietly excellent instead.

Sounds like Law sees a floor of “quietly excellent,” which is why we’re all so excited about Vargas.

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