While the transition to a new level of minor league baseball might be tough for some, Los Angeles Dodgers prospect Miguel Vargas has not only succeeded on the field, but had the support of his well-known father right there with him as he climbed the organizational ladder.
Los Angeles Dodgers prospect Miguel Vargas talks promotion to Double-A, importance of family
Vargas, rated as the sixth-best prospect in the Dodgers system in MLB.com’s midseason rankings, was promoted to Double-A Tulsa in mid-June and has flourished with the Drillers. Heading into Wednesday’s action, the 21-year-old infielder was slashing .327/.403/.525 with an OPS of .929 in 257 at-bats.
“I feel good here,” Vargas said on the field after a 3-for-5, 3-RBI performance on Tuesday in Tulsa’s 15-2 rout of the Springfield Cardinals. “I’m ready for (playing at Double-A). I’ve been preparing for it and working to make it happen. It’s a great time to be here.”
Between High-A Great Lakes and Double-A Tulsa, Vargas has hit 20 home runs (13 in Tulsa) and driven in 65 runs (49 in Tulsa) while playing first, second, and third base.
“It’s better for me if I can play a couple of positions. If it helps me play more, I’m ready to do it,” Vargas said.
It’s been a big year for Vargas in the Los Angeles system. This past spring, he earned his first non-roster invitation to spring training with the Dodgers. Vargas says it was a chance for him to prepare for what he hopes will be a long and successful Major League career.
“It was about learning everything from what goes on in pregame to how we work out in the gym,” Vargas said. “I learned a lot and had a lot of guys teach me some really good things.”
Cheering him on in the stands during his hot streak in Tulsa has been his father, Lazaro, who is a baseball icon in Cuba. He played 22 years for the Havana Industriales in Cuba’s top league and he was a part of Cuba’s Olympic gold medal-winning teams in 1992 and ‘96.
“It’s great for me to have family here,” said Vargas, who moved from Cuba to the United States in 2015. “I talk with my dad every night about the games and it’s awesome that he can be here.”