The Dodgers continued to add players to their 60-man player pool on Friday, increasing the current count to 58 players.
Among those added was infielder Michael Busch, who is currently ranked as the eighth-best prospect in the organization, according to MLB Pipeline.
Because Busch is not part of the club’s 40-man roster, he is considered a non-roster invitee, as far as official MLB roster terminology goes.
In January, Jim Callis of MLB.com put together a series of rankings highlighting the game’s best prospects by position. Surprisingly, the 22-year-old Busch appeared on the list as the sixth-best second base prospect in all of baseball.
It wasn’t that long ago when the left-handed hitting Busch was selected by the Dodgers as the 31st overall pick in the 2019 draft out of the University of North Carolina.
Billy Gasparino, the Dodgers’ director of player development, called Busch an “elite left-handed hitter,” comparing him to current Los Angeles slugger Max Muncy.
Said Gasparino not long after Busch’s selection, “Michael is a guy who we thought was one of the better bats in the Cape Cod League, both in terms of performance and swing, as well as overall defensive versatility. He’s been a staple in the UNC program. They rave about his makeup and his character, and we’re excited to add him to our organization. We’re going to challenge Michael and start at second base.”
Coincidentally, Busch split time at first base, shortstop and left field at UNC. Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com ranked Busch as having the best overall power grade among all the second base prospects.
After playing a handful of games in the Arizona Rookie League last season, the 6-foot, 205-pound Busch arrived at Low-A Great Lakes in time to appear in five games, going 2-for-11 with two RBI and six walks.
His time was limited last year after suffering a hairline fracture in his right hand, but he still participated in the Arizona Fall League, logging five games for the Glendale Desert Dogs, while going 3-for-13 with one home run. Perhaps what stood out the most was that he walked nine times in the AFL against just four punchouts, allowing him to score six runs.
According to Mayo, Busch’s “advanced approach at the plate allows him to wait for good pitches to drive.”
MLB Pipeline had this to say about the Minnesota native: “Busch masterfully controls the strike zone, waiting for pitches he can attack and taking walks when pitchers refuse to challenge him. His sweet left-handed swing features plenty of bat speed and his balanced approach allows him to drive the ball to all fields. He should hit for average and power while drawing more than his share of walks, giving him one of the highest offensive ceilings and floors among 2019 draftees.”
Busch hit 33 homers over his final two years at North Carolina.
The other players invited to the Dodgers’ camp on Friday were Anthony Garcia, Landon Knack, Bobby Miller, Ryan Pepiot, Edubray Ramos and Carson Taylor.