Dodgers outfielder Nick Buss hit his way into relevancy in 2013, but with so many outfielders on the roster is trying to get noticed in 2014.
Buss hit .303/.363/.525 with 29 doubles, 11 triples and 17 home runs with Triple-A Albuquerque in 2013 and led the Pacific Coast League with 100 RBI. He played in the PCL All-Star Game in July and after the season was named to both the All-PCL Team and the Topps Triple-A All-Star Team.
It earned Buss, an eighth-round selection in the 2008 draft by the Dodgers, his first spot on the 40-man roster when the Dodgers called him up in September.
He had two singles and a walk in 20 plate appearances in his cup of coffee, but the question is will he get a refill?
Buss is on the 40-man roster, an important point in his favor, but then again, so was Justin Sellers, until he wasn't. Buss now is behind the four starting outfielders, plus Scott Van Slyke and Mike Baxter as well. If a spot opened up that was more than a bench opening, the rapidly rising Joc Pederson (currently not on the 40-man roster) would have to be at least considered as an option.
That leaves Buss the low man on the totem pole of sorts, but then again the odds were against him heading into 2013 as well, so it's tough to count him out.
With Double-A Chattanooga in 2012, Buss had three straight three-hit games from May 12-14.
Buss has 16 days of service time and all three option years remaining. He signed a one-year contract for 2014 on Sunday, with a major league rate likely at or near the minimum salary of $500,000.
|2011 (Hi Class-A Rancho)
|2012 (Double-A Chattanooga)
|2013 (Triple-A Albuquerque)
|2014 projections - Age 27 season|
With the injury history of the Dodgers outfielders it's hard to think Buss wouldn't see any time in the majors this year, but that's my guess. I say no games for Buss in 2014 with the Dodgers. What's your guess?