Michael Busch Making Noise at Double-A Tulsa

24-year-old second baseman Michael Busch has gotten off to his hottest start as a professional.

Through his first 20 games at Double-A Tulsa this year, the lefty-hitting Minnesota native is slashing an impressive .286/.446/.671 with eight homers, three doubles and 20 RBI. What’s even more impressive is that he’s already drawn 19 walks, indicating a growing patience at the plate after punching out 129 times last year.

His eight long balls currently tie him for second in the pitcher-friendly Texas League.

Another note worth mentioning is that the 6-foot-1, 210-pound former first round pick made his professional debut in left field last week after playing there regularly during his tenure at the University of North Carolina. What’s more, he’s hitting a reasonable .278 against southpaw pitching this year after posting a sub-.200 average against lefties last season.

After a slow start to his 2020 campaign, Busch rebounded to slash .267/.386/.484 with 27 doubles, 20 long balls and 67 RBI at Tulsa last year. As a matter of fact, he saw his season average dip as low as .217 in the beginning of July before he finally started putting things together. In September, he hit a whopping .413/.491/.739 to finish out a solid season.

On defense, Busch has shown vast improvement, specifically at second base, which is still a relatively new spot for him. Last year, he committed just seven errors in 312 total chances playing second. Busch had an average arm when he was drafted, but scouts feel he has made significant strides with his strength and release over the past two years.

Heading into the 2022 season, MLB Pipeline ranked Busch as the organization’s third-best prospect.

Even though Busch has outperformed Tulsa teammate Jacob Amaya offensively, Amaya might be ahead of Busch in the organizational infield depth only because he’s already on the 40-man roster. Nevertheless, if Busch continues to swing the bat well — while showing patience at the dish — he could be in store for a promotion to Triple-A Oklahoma City sometime soon.

As it stands, 24-year-old Omar Estevez and 32-year-old journeyman Eddy Alvarez have been getting the lion’s share of OKC’s second base reps.

Coincidentally, 24-year-old Tulsa teammate Ryan Ward is tied with Busch for second place in the Texas League home run race. Ward is a lefty-hitting outfielder who was selected by the Dodgers in the eighth round of the 2019 draft, about 200 picks after Busch was chosen.

Regardless, it will be interesting to keep an eye on Busch as the season progresses, if only to see when he earns his promotion.

Tulsa’s road game on Thursday against Wichita was rained out for the third straight night in a series that was supposed to begin on Tuesday.

12 thoughts on “Michael Busch Making Noise at Double-A Tulsa

  1. Glad to see Busch is getting some reps in left field. Didn’t realize he had played there in college. I don’t see how they can keep him at Tulsa much longer.

    They’ve given Estevez all kinds of opportunities over the years and it makes no sense to me to play him at second and keep Busch at Tulsa. I’ve got to believe that by the end of the month, Busch will be at OKC.

  2. Worries me that a 24 year old, with potential and playing very well at a dodger position of weakness is still in double A.
    You know what that means Jeff. We should be waiting for his major league call up, not his triple A call up. Darn. Another career minor leaguer.

    1. He broke his wrist the same year he was drafted in 2019, and there was essentially no minor league baseball at all in 2021. So that basically gives him one full year in the minors (last year).

      1. Gordon has strict rules, Dennis. Injuries and eliminated seasons are not factored in.
        Therefore, we just need to be happy that OKC will have a very good player for the next 10 years.
        Unless, of course, they keep him at Tulsa for the next 10 years. 🙂
        Just understand that this isn’t Gordon’s fault. He doesn’t make the rules………………….or does he?

      2. I think Busch should be wherever the pitching is better. Who’s playing second for okc now? Yesterday it was 33 year old Ty Kelly. Before that it was Burns.

        I read yesterday Bogaerts may be available. I also read Turner said he prefers the East Coast.

      3. Bogaerts is a great hitter, but isn’t he considered a below average fielder, like worse than Seager/Turner but quite a bit?

      4. I understand Dennis but college baseball is just below double A and I agree with your article totally as he appears to be one of the few good prospects in the system. My comment was actually about the dodgers reason for not promoting an apparent 24 year old prospect who is raking. Most times you can tell a teams regard for players by what they don’t do rather than what they actually do. Makes me wonder what they know.
        And jeff is right. Just follow my rules when in doubt. Lol

  3. I continue to be a Miguel Vargas fan. He is hitting .293 at OKC with a 395 OBP.
    I am hoping Roberts will rest JT for a few games and give Rios some at-bats. Did you see there is a new Roberts rule? Yep 65 pitches of shut out ball and you are outa there…

    1. Just to put a positive spin on it, 65 pitches of shutout ball means you’re due to get clobbered.

Leave a Reply