Continuing along with our winter profiling of some of the best talent on the Los Angeles Dodgers farm, we stay in the outfield, landing at the 14th best prospect in the system, 20-year-old Andy Pages.
Just in case you missed our last profile, just before Christmas we looked at 18-year-old Luis Rodriguez, who could theoretically be on a similar timeline to Pages as far as a prospective MLB debut goes.
In the Rodriguez discussion, we pointed out the trio of prospects on the big-league fringe—Zach Reks, Cody Thomas and DJ Peters, all of whom are now past the age of 25. Conceivably, Reks could be the most rounded of the three, but all of them still managed to tally triple-digit strikeout figures in their respective 2019 minor league seasons, the biggest factor that might be holding all of them back from the bigs.
Additionally, 27-year-old Luke Raley, who was acquired from the Twins in the Kenta Maeda deal along with Brusdar Graterol, should be included in the fringe conversation. The lefty-hitting Raley hit .302/.362/.516 for Triple-A Rochester in 2019.
Regardless, both Rodriguez and Pages are in a class of their own with regards to raw tools and skills.
Last February, it appeared as if Pages was being shipped out when he was included in a trade package with Joc Pederson and Ross Stripling to Anaheim for infielder Luis Rengifo and other prospects. Obviously, the deal fell through, which ended up being a good thing for the Dodgers, due to the outfield talent being so slim on the middle levels of the minors.
The 6-foot-1, righty-hitting Pages agreed to terms with the Dodgers as an international free agent out of Cuba back in October of 2018 for a $300,000 signing bonus, just several months after the organization landed top Venezuelan catching prospect Diego Cartaya.
According to Baseball America, Pages was one of the top hitters in his age group in Cuba. In the country’s 15U league in 2015, he hit .364/.484/.581 with 25 walks and just three strikeouts over 161 plate appearances, ranking third in the league in slugging percentage. He played the 2016 season as a 16-year-old in the much more mature 18U league, hitting .248/.384/.376 in 129 plate appearances, with his three home runs tied for second in the league.
Ben Badler opined that “Pages’ bat is his best tool. He has an efficient swing and good hand-eye coordination, leading to a high contact rate in games with average power,” although other scouts feel that Pages’ arm strength might be his best asset.
Upon signing with the Dodgers, Pages arrived stateside in 2018 with enough time to appear in 10 games for the Arizona League Dodgers after hitting .236/.393/.486 with nine homers and nine stolen bases in 42 games in the Dominican Summer League.
Playing exclusively for the Ogden Raptors in short-season Rookie League in 2019, Pages slashed an impressive .298/.398/.651 with 22 doubles and 19 long balls over 63 games.
As stated by MLB Pipeline, “Pages has an advanced understanding of his right-handed swing and how to create bat speed and use his leverage to generate well-above-average raw power. Though he had a 28 percent strikeout rate in 2019, Los Angeles is confident he’ll make enough contact to produce well because he has a sound right-handed swing and is an intelligent hitter. He needs to clean up his plate discipline and perhaps tone down his leg kick.”
Additionally, “Pages offers one of the best combinations of strength and speed in the system, though he’ll probably settle in as more of average runner once he’s physically mature. His instincts help him cover ground in center field and may allow him to stay there in the long term. He easily profiles in right field with his power and an arm that earns plus-plus grades from some evaluators.”
While it has already been reported that the 2021 Single-A and Double-A minor league seasons will be delayed to some degree, everyone’s fingers are crossed that they still proceed close to normal. That said, there’s probably a good chance that Pages begins the year at Rancho Cucamonga, the Dodgers’ new Low-A affiliate, while possibly ending the season at Great Lakes, the franchise’s new High-A affiliate.
Pages turned 20 in December.