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Dodgers name Miguel Vargas & Hyun-il Choi minor league players of the year

The 2021 Branch Rickey minor league honorees

Los Angeles Dodgers v Los Angeles Angels Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

The Dodgers on Friday named third baseman Miguel Vargas the organization’s minor league player of the year and chose right-hander Hyun-il Choi as minor league pitcher of the year.

The 21-year-old Vargas hit .319/.380/.526 with 23 home runs and 27 doubles across High-A Great Lakes and Double-A Tulsa. After setting a Great Lakes franchise record with a 26-game hitting streak, Vargas was promoted to Double-A, where he spent over two-thirds of his season. His numbers proved remarkably similar across both levels, even improving both his walk and strikeout rates in Tulsa.

Miguel Vargas 2021 splits

High-A 172 11 7 5.2% 18.6% .314/.366/.532 142
Double-A 370 16 16 9.7% 15.4% .321/.386/.523 141
Source: FanGraphs

Vargas was in the top seven in Double-A in batting average, on-base percentagae, slugging percentage, and OPS despite being three years younger than the average age at the level.

Across two levels in 2021, Vargas started 84 games at third base, 16 at second, and nine times at first base. But his main position is the batter’s box. Baseball America ranked Vargas as the 57th-best prospect in MLB, adding, “Now that he’s added power to his advanced hitting ability, he has a chance to be a middle-of-the-order threat whose offense outweighs any defensive shortcomings.”

Dustin Nosler at Dodgers Digest ranked Vargas as his Dodgers minor league player of the year.

Choi is a control artist who split time between Low-A Rancho Cucamonga and High-A Great Lakes. Across the board he struck out 106 and only walked 18 in his 106⅓ innings, with a 3.55 ERA.

With the Quakes, Choi had a stretch of five games and 25⅔ innings without a walk, and another string of four straight games without a walk, over 18 innings.

Signed by the Dodgers out of Seoul, South Korea in 2018, the 21-year-old Choi is the Dodgers’ 26th-ranked prospect by MLB Pipeline.

Both Vargas and Choi will be honored on the field at Dodger Stadium before Friday’s game against the Brewers.