Dodgers Prospect Watch: Michael Busch Emerging at Triple-A Oklahoma City

While some players in the Dodgers system like Diego Cartaya, Miguel Vargas and Bobby Miller have been stealing the latest prospect spotlight for the upcoming Futures Game, Michael Busch has been chugging along in the shadows, climbing his way to the top of the prospect totem pole.

Along with righty pitcher Andre Jackson, Busch had his own shot in the 2021 version of the Futures Game. Both players impressed, considering that coaches from each league had to split playing time between 25 different players. Jackson threw one scoreless inning of one hit ball, while Busch went 1-for-1 with a single in his only plate appearance.

Regardless, we’re not here to talk about the Futures Game, at least until we see how this year’s trio performs over the weekend. What’s more noteworthy right now is that Busch may finally be approaching the point of being a legitimate big-league candidate.

If you’re an avid follower of this site, you’ll know we’ve always equated Busch with a whole lot of potential without the stats to back it up. In previous seasons, it was tough to gauge Busch’s development because of a wrist injury his first year in the system and the coronavirus shutting down all minor league activity back in 2020.

However, the 24-year-old lefty-hitting Minnesota native has emerged as one of the team’s most promising position-player options. To boot, he has become a legit option at second base in the event the Dodgers need to move Gavin Lux to shortstop if Trea Turner lands elsewhere this coming winter. Although some fans might cringe at a potential Lux/Busch middle infield right now, it could become a reasonable option over the next few years.

After having begun the year at Double-A Tulsa, the 6-foot-1, 210-pound Busch earned his promotion to Oklahoma City on May 17. He currently leads the entire organization with 21 home runs this year, with 10 of them coming at the Triple-A level. After his season average dipped below the Mendoza Line during his first week at OKC, he has rebounded to produce a combined .270/.362/.550 slash line with 19 doubles and 61 RBI for the season.

Defensively, Busch has appeared in 60 combined games at second base, seven in left field and seven as designated hitter, showing his versatility to move a bit around the park.

In a perfect world, the Dodgers would like to see Busch elevate his .250 Triple-A average, especially in the hitter-friendly confines of the thin-air stadiums of the Pacific Coast League. However, scouts will be eager to see how Busch progresses in the second half of the season, especially if uncertainties surrounding Turner’s potential return remain unresolved.

With several potential deals looming for the Dodgers, Busch might be a player the team wants to protect as the 2022 MLB trade deadline takes center stage.

15 thoughts on “Dodgers Prospect Watch: Michael Busch Emerging at Triple-A Oklahoma City

  1. Busch has had issues every level transition but has then adjusted. He is older than Vargas and currently has displayed more power although I think Vargas will be a better overall player. Busch can certainly play and scouts love his swing mechanics.If Busch ends up at 2nd and Vargas at 3rd they may want to get Amaya or another SS with some range to cover up the lack on both sides. Although reports r that both Busch and Vargas are improving on their defense.

  2. Of course Busch should be protected. So should the others mentioned except Jackson who has regressed. I really do not see the need to trade prospects for another starter.

  3. I agree/ Next season Rotation could be Urias, Buehler, Gonsolin, May and Kershaw? Anderson? Pepiot? Why trade for a guy that might not make the cut in 23? Plus give up high prospects! I think the Dodgers will use May in spot relief when he returns this season. If the Dodgers get Treinen back and add May they should have enough for a playoff series run with the rest of the guys in the bullpen. Hopefully Graterol is starting to blossom. Read today that Duffy might make it back late this year. If so another good long reliever. I have not read anything on Gonzalez’s possible return.

      1. I think Kersh will come back next year. I think he wants to get to 200 wins and 3,000 strike outs.

    1. Pitching is sketchy for the rest of this year and they’ll do something. They always do. Who they trade will be interesting because our perception of prospects and their perception are rarely the same. Don’t think they have anyone on the farm who will get them montas or castillo.
      The bigger problem is next year in the outfield, ( 2 spots), 3rd base and whatever muncy is. Going to force some promotions and of course a free agent or two. Don’t think they will spend a penny over 400 million.

      1. The Dodgers lost draft choices and position this year plus a large cash penalty. I really doubt they will do that again. Could Castillo get a rotation slot next year? I doubt it. With Gomes in his new position I think they stand Pat. May and Treinen are coming so why waste Farm guys? Do they pay Bellinger another 17-20 million on his last year? How do Lamb and Thompson perform. I believe Vargas and Busch will be on the roster or traded by 23.

      2. I’m surprised to hear you say that you don’t think we have anyone on the farm that would get us Montas or Castillo. I think offering Cartaya or Vargas or Miller plus a couple more pieces would get it done in a flash, but I hope we don’t do that. Maybe I’m just overvaluing our prospects, but I just wouldn’t do it for a year and a couple of months of a pitcher who has already been hurt once this year.

        You mention two open outfield spots next year, which means you don’t expect Andrew to bring back Bellinger. There again, I disagree. Not saying he wouldn’t trade Belli if the right deal came along but I think he’ll pay him his 17-18 million in the hopes that he re-discovers himself. In the meanwhile he’s got a guy who is on track for 3 WAR this year which by most estimates is right around 17 million worth of value.

        If the 2023 version of Bellinger is the same as the past couple of years then, absolutely, he’s gone after 2023.

      3. White’s career ERA is 3.38 & WHIP 1.15 and he has improved every start. Pepiot has improved every start I see no reason to trade?? Do u think anyone they can reasonably pick up is better than what they currently have? I do not. Bellinger will get signed. What he does in 23 will decide what happens. I am hoping Rios snd Vargas compete for 3rd & DH next year. Muncy does not look good.

  4. Maybe soon there will be a Busch in our clubhouse! White pitching today, game is on about 5 something here.

  5. Jeff I don’t think Vargas or cartaya will be traded for anyone. We all agree on that. I should have been clear . That’s all we got. Cincy and Oakland will want a top prospect, plus, plus. My point was we 4 have bigger problems next year, and we keep talking about the prospects and the dodgers keep signing minor leaguers and bringing them up. Our bench is embarrassing. It’s amazing that 6 players can carry a team if you have outstanding pit hing. And I so hope you are wrong g about Bellinger

    1. I assume by “wrong” you hope that they cut ties with Bellinger this winter rather than bring him back next year. I just don’t see that happening since there is no logical replacement for him.

      I don’t think Outman is ready and I don’t think Trayce is enough to be a permanent every day starter in center field.

      Of course, Andrew could always come up with a clever trade.

  6. White’s ERA is over 4 and I expect it to stay there. I think he’s fine as a #5-6.

    It’s my opinion Friedman can get more pitching here and it won’t cost Vargas or Cartaya. I doubt he moves Miller either. Everyone else might be available in the right deal.

  7. I don’t believe the Dodgers will give up on Bellinger no matter how incredibly frustrating he is. He has so much potential if he would simply make contact especially with his speed. Plus they do not have anyone on the Farm ready. But the Dodgers have a surplus of young pitchers that will be blocked in a few years. So perhaps eventually a trade for a young CF phenom? If Heaney returns White will probably become the long man in the pen.

    1. As I mentioned above, I see almost no chance that the Dodgers cut strings with Cody any time before he becomes a free agent, but if his numbers look like this for the rest of the year and for 2023 I also don’t see any way they bring him back on another contract.

      On the other hand, the Yankees desperately need a centerfielder and another lefty hitter in the lineup. And Cody’s dad played for the Yanks back in the day. I could see him signing with them as a free agent after next year, although if his numbers don’t improve he sure won’t be getting 17-20 mil per year.

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