Amidst a somewhat slow offseason, the Dodgers are still quietly chipping away by adding depth in the outfield and shortstop positions.
The Dodgers recently traded for veteran slugger, Miguel Rojas to fill in at the shortstop position most likely behind Lux, or for more depth in the infield as well. Sources also share that the Dodgers are most likely looking into signing two Dominican prospects for the upcoming season.
Although there are no statavaliable for either players, MLB.com shared their own evaluations of the two international players:
At 6-foot-3, the long and lean Vargas will face questions about his ability to stay at shortstop, but the Dominican Republic native already shows a quick first step, good hands and instincts for the position. He’ll stay in the middle of the infield for as long as he can, but his plus arm potential will serve him well if he transitions to third base in the future.
At the plate, Vargas shows an advanced approach with the ability to hit for average. One of the top hitters in the class, he hits line drives to all fields and shows home run potential with a mechanically sound swing. He is expected to show more raw power and rack up extra-base hits as he fills out his frame. Vargas trains with Raul “Banana” Valera, a member of MLB’s Trainer Partnership Program.
With the shortstop position currently being one of the most prevalent holes in the Dodgers defense right now, having more depth will be crucial during the season. The Dodgers have also expressed interest in getting their farm system and young prospects involved so although Vargas is only 17-yeard-old, he has a lot of room to grow into the club and at the right time.
A power-hitting outfielder from the Dominican Republic, Lantigua is big and strong now, and more strength could be on the way. His ability to make consistent contact and hit for power emerged in recent years. If he continues to develop at a normal pace, he could turn into a middle-of-the order bat in the future because of his offensive prowess. Lantigua can be overly aggressive in the batter’s box and needs to be more patient at the plate, but he’s working on strike zone recognition and fine-tuning his approach.
Overall, he has a chance to stay in center field because of his speed and arm strength, but he also profiles as a right fielder for those reasons. He trains with Marino Sierra in the Dominican Republic.
Another hole the Dodgers were trying to fill this offseason included the outfield. With Bellinger off to Chicago and Joey Gallo headed to Minnesota, Los Angeles was actively searching for more depth to support Mookie Betts and Trayce Thompson.
Although the Dodgers are doing a much better job at trying to get back under the luxury tax this year, their expenses are still slowly adding up which could turn into a bigger problem soon.
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