Miguel Vargas came up to the majors and hit .175/.200/.255, so he stinks, right? Not so fast there, Sparky.
- Born: November 17, 1999
- B/T: Right/Right
- 6’3″, 205-lbs
- Signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers out of Cuba
His raw numbers are listed above courtesy of baseball-reference.com. Let’s aggregate by year then focus on the important numbers for minor leaguers:
He signed in 2017 and began at Rookie ball in 2018, so 2019 is his first full-season year at age 19. He did nicely at A-ball, and then did fine at High-A.
In 2021 he repeated High-A and brought all his numbers up except his walk rate. But we discern a pattern with his strikeout rate: it’s great. No, seriously great. This guy just doesn’t strike out much. And his walk rate doubled when he moved to Double-A while his strikeout rate got even lower! And he did this with full power, and full on-base ability.
In 2022 he spent most of the season in Triple-A, and here I must pull you back from the edge of your seat because the Pacific Coast League is so notoriously batter friendly that the pitchers all need psychiatrists. So while it’s cool to see a .404 OBP with a .207 ISO and about as many walks as strikeouts, and even 16 steals, “it’s Chinatown, Jake…” Er, I mean, it’s the Pacific Coast League, dear reader.
Then he gets called up to the Dodgers and he stinks, right? No, it just shows you the vast gulf that exists between the majors and everywhere else. Plus it was September of a full season. If that month had been in Triple-A and folded in with the rest of his stats, you wouldn’t give that month much thought. So why do we look at that same month in the majors as being significant?
See, he showed great power until that last month, and the great strikeout rate and walk rate until that last month, so it was a pretty great year with a taste of the majors.
Handedness K% and BB%
AAA (vs RH): 15%K and 13%BB. (vs LH): 13%K and 17%BB.
MLB (vs RH): 19%K and 8%BB. (vs LH): 33%K and 0%BB.
Small sample size with the Dodgers, but even here his strikeout rate (against RHP at least) was fantastic even as his OBP was not. Give me the guy with a great batting eye every day — he’ll figure it out eventually.
No platoon bat this: his Triple-A splits were fantastic, er, Jake, in Triple-A.
We need to see him bounce back in the majors, and this being the Dodgers we need to make sure they don’t sign someone that blocks him in 2023.
That said, I don’t see much weakness. I mean he had a Hard Hit % of 31.7%, er, in the PCL. But his power was real before the PCL, and it will be real in the majors.
Another Top 10 prospect. He just needs At Bats in the majors to adjust to major league pitching. He’s a risk of a low BA/OBP in 2023 until he gets it figured out, but always bet on the great bat skills to get it figured out.
He’s the real deal, Jake.