Although there have been quite a few players on the Dodgers who have had their share of ups and downs offensively so far during the young season, there’s one at the Triple-A level who’s been reaching base as much as ever.
Over the first 55 at-bats of his 2023 campaign at Oklahoma City, Michael Busch has tallied 19 hits and 11 walks, generating an impressive .345/.463/.473 slash line. His power numbers are down so far — which is a rarity — but these early tendencies could indicate he’s maturing into a smarter hitter than his career .271 minor league average suggests.
Heading into the weekend, the lefty-hitting Busch hit safely in eight straight games before going hitless against Sugar Land on Friday evening. During that eight-game stretch, he went 13-for-32 with four doubles and seven RBI. In Thursday night’s win over Sugar Land, he notched his second three-hit effort of the year.
Another impressive stat is that he has gone 6-for-11 against southpaw pitching, something that he was slightly inconsistent with his first few seasons as a professional.
Despite the four doubles, Busch’s first home run didn’t arrive until Thursday — his 10th game of the year.
Last season, Busch had his best year as a professional, slashing .274/.365/.516 with 32 long balls, 38 doubles and 108 RBI in 142 games across the Double-A and Triple-A levels.
Before things started shaking out over the winter with the additions of lefty-hitting veterans Jason Heyward and David Peralta, it looked like there was a small chance for Busch to make a run at a big-league spot.
One of the most interesting notes about Busch is that he’s been jumping all around the diamond after it appeared that the organization primarily intended on using him as a second baseman. So far this year, the 25-year-old, 6-foot-1 Minnesota native has played four games at third base, three games at first and seven games at second.
In 2022, he made 13 appearances in left field, the first time he saw any outfield action since his time at the University of North Carolina.
On defense, Busch has shown vast improvement, specifically at second base, which is still a relatively new spot for him after playing a ton of shortstop at UNC. He had an average arm when he was drafted, but scouts feel he has made significant strides with his strength and release over the past few years.
Many fans still question why Busch has not had his first cup of coffee in the majors at 25 years old. Let’s not forget that his freak wrist injury kept him sidelined for a good portion of 2019, while the coronavirus wiped out the 2020 minor league season entirely.
Right now, the 210-pounder is rated as the No. 3 prospect in the organization behind catcher Diego Cartaya and righty pitcher Bobby Miller. Busch is on the organizational 40-man roster, giving him a faster track to the majors than a few other older fringe players.
As he embraces his fourth full year in the minors, it should be interesting to see if Busch makes his major league debut this season, especially if there’s an influx of injuries or a few of the veteran lefty hitters go dormant on offense.
4 thoughts on “Dodgers Prospect Watch: Michael Busch Sizzling at Triple-A Oklahoma City”
Busch must be starting to get a little frustrated with his constantly being moved around on defense. It really doesn’t give him much time to learn any one position, especially considering that he is considered questionable on defense.
I saw some video of him playing third base a couple of days ago and he looked pretty good, considering how little time he’s spent there.
I really hope he gets a chance to play at the major league level at some point this year. Time to find out what they have and determine if he’s a keeper or someone to be packaged in a trade.
Dodgers obviously don’t think he is capable of hitting in the majors, which I think is the consensus of most big leagues scouts. Too bad because we have a desperate need at 3rd base , left field and dh, if not now than next year.
I don’t think I agree with that, Gordon.
I believe consensus among most scouts is that he may not be able to field in the majors. And this year, we have a permanent DH, so that option is out.
As far as I know, most “experts” feel that he will hit if/when he gets promoted. The only question is whether he’ll be playing for the Dodgers.
Doesn’t look like he’ll ever get promoted. He’s another Rios. Or Raley, or Beaty etc. I almost changed my mind on him after last year but I always listen to what the team tells us. I’m pretty much done with Miller and starting to worry about Cartaya now. You are probably right. I’ve been wrong before. Or not. Lol.