Prior to Gavin Lux’s season-ending ACL injury last week, the outfield was one of the most talked about departments as far as big-league roster spots go for the Los Angeles Dodgers. However, with Chris Taylor seemingly scheduled to see significantly more playing time in the infield, it could perhaps open the door for several dark horses to see action in the outfield at the beginning of the season.
As most of you know, there are a few outfield journeymen in camp this year trying to reestablish their respective careers, including Jason Heyward, Steven Duggar and Bradley Zimmer. In addition, blue-chip prospects like James Outman and Andy Pages are also in contention for roster spots, making this spring one of the most exciting player auditions in recent years.
As it stands, the only guaranteed outfield spot is Mookie Betts in right field, and even that isn’t set in stone considering there might be a chance the 30-year-old superstar sees time at second base this season.
Pages is especially intriguing because he could be the most gifted overall athlete in the entire group. He can handle all three outfield spots with one of the top arms in the entire organization, and he can hit for power as well as any prospect in the top tier of the Los Angeles farm.
Currently, Pages is rated as the fifth-best prospect in the Dodgers’ system by MLB Pipeline, trailing Diego Cartaya, Bobby Miller, Miguel Vargas and Michael Busch.
This year, the 22-year-old righty-hitting Pages is on the major league side of spring training, plus he’s on the organizational 40-man roster, perhaps making his path to the majors easier than other prospects. Besides hitting from opposite sides of the plate, both Pages and Outman are similar to what they bring to the table on offense in defense, although Pages is probably more of a gifted athlete with a slightly stronger arm.
One of the biggest concerns for Pages has always been his strikeout rate, but his high number of walks — 77 in 2021 and 62 last year — suggests that his plate discipline is improving. In addition, Pages has been among the farm’s top long ball hitters over the past two seasons with 31 for High-A Great Lakes in 2021 and 26 last year for Double-A Tulsa in the pitcher friendly confines of the Texas League.
With a career .256/.374/.523 slash line over four full minor league seasons, many pundits feel that the 6-foot-1, 210-pounder from Cuba has a way to go on offense before he tastes his first cup of coffee. However, his 24-for-81 performance with five homers and nine walks in last year’s Arizona Fall League might suggest he’s on the right track.
So far during 2023 Cactus League play, Pages has gone 3-for-9 with three RBI and a run scored.
As far as roster predictions go, it might seem that Heyward and Outman have the inside track to spots on the Opening Day roster, with perhaps another outfield spot being entirely up for grabs. It might be safe to assume that Pages starts the year at Triple-A Oklahoma City with a very solid chance of being called up at some point in the season.
4 thoughts on “Dodgers Prospect Watch: Keeping an Eye on Andy Pages”
I really hope they start Pages at OKC. If he absolutely destroys AAA pitching, they can always bring him up in mid season, but I think his career would be much better served with a year in OKC. After all, he spent the entire year at Tulsa last season and only hit .236. He’s got enough talent and is young enough that he might just improve every year, even taking a step up in class, but let him play every day to start the year and see how it goes.
At this point, it sure seems as though both Heyward and Outman are likely to make the OD roster. I wish they could have managed to sign Peralta to a minor league deal. That would have made him easier to cut, if necessary, but since they’re paying him $6.5MM, he’s going to be around for awhile. Hopefully, he’s the Peralta we’ve been facing with the D’backs for all these years, which will make him a worthwhile addition.
I’ve got to say, I absolutely love what I’ve seen from Miguel Rojas so far. We know that he’s an excellent defender, always important for a shortstop, but he’s a very heady ballplayer and seems to be a real leader. My expectation is that with something to play for every day (as opposed to the Marlins), I think we’ll see more offense from him than is generally predicted. I expect him to be a manager some day, but in the meanwhile, between him and JHey and Freddie, Mookie and CK, we’ve got some tremendous leadership in the clubhouse.
I look forward to seeing more of Bobby Miller and Stone in the next couple of weeks, but in the meanwhile both Grove and Jackson have done very nicely in their games. I think either of them could be a longshot to start the year as a long man in the bullpen. Pepiot would be another name to add to that list, but my guess is that the front office would rather have him start every 5th day at OKC to begin the year.
I have a feeling that Miguel Vargas is gonna bust out at some point this year. It seems like it’s only a matter of time. Every single one of his teammates rants and raves about his talent and work ethic.
I think Vargas is going to become a better than average fielder and I’ve heard the same things about him that you have. Look forward to being able to see him swing a bat. He’s been productive offensively so far just keeping his bat on his shoulder. 🙂