One of the key ingredients in the Dodgers recent run of organizational success has been positional versatility. One could argue that Kiké Hernández was the first LA swiss army knife of the Andrew Friedman era. Kiké, and later Chris Taylor and Max Muncy, provided the Dodgers with lineup flexibility that allowed manager Dave Roberts to deploy the best lineup for any matchup.
The Dodgers are hoping that they might have another Chris Taylor developing in the farm system in Miguel Vargas. Vargas, a career infielder, has recently appeared in the outfield for the OKC Dodgers (Triple-A). This week, general manager Brandon Gomes explained why the Dodgers wanted to get a look at Vargas in the outfield (quotes via OCR’s Bill Plunkett).
“Optionality is a good thing. He’s played second. He’s played third. And he plays first. We were digging into it and, ‘Let’s see what it looks like in the outfield.’ His sprint speeds are some of the best in our organization. His instincts for the game are good. So let’s see what it looks like and all the reports so far have been positive.”
The jury is still out – Vargas has played just two games in left field as of Tuesday evening.
Vargas, who’s listed on MLB Pipeline as the Dodgers fifth-best prospect, has a .877 OPS in 71 games in Triple-A through. His hitting prowess isn’t lost on Gomes. The GM remarked how Vargas could “wake up” and “shoot the ball into right field.”
Gomes also noted that Vargas is probably a ways out from his big league debut.
“I think he needs to keep doing what he’s been doing for a while. We feel very strongly about his ability to hit. I think he can roll out of bed and hit.”
The 22-year-old Cuban has admitted he’s not a great fielder, but his bat could one day get him to the big leagues.
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