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Andy Pages and Miguel Vargas projected for huge 2022 campaigns

ZiPS projections are high on a few prospects

Austin Chastain / Midland Daily News

With no baseball news, we’ve been getting spoiled with prospect news over the course of the last few weeks. A number of outlets have been releasing their Top 100 lists, including FanGraphs this week.

Two days ago, FanGraphs released their Top 100. On Friday, they released their Top 100 as seen by the ZiPS projection system. In case you’re wondering what exactly the “ZiPS” projection system is, here’s a brief summary: ZiPS is a computer system that attempts to turn an avalanche of data into a player projection.

If you’d like a more in-depth analysis on how this works, you can learn about it here.

Four Dodgers players cracked the Top 100, but it’s unlike the list we’ve seen in previous rankings. Here’s a look at where Dodgers prospects have been ranked in all the prospect lists so far.

Dodgers ranked in 2022 top-100 prospect lists

Prospect Pos Age Baseball America Baseball Prospectus The Athletic ESPN FanGraphs MLB Pipeline
Prospect Pos Age Baseball America Baseball Prospectus The Athletic ESPN FanGraphs MLB Pipeline
Diego Cartaya C 20 23 55 13 26 37 28
Bobby Miller RHP 23 38 63 50 61 94 57
Miguel Vargas 3B 22 40 36 62 94
Michael Busch 2B 24 76 53 87 79 67
Andy Pages OF 21 68 76 68 86 68
Ryan Pepiot RHP 24 99 59
Eddys Leonard 2B/SS/OF 21 98
Age as of June 30, 2022

Alright, now that we’ve become familiar with the rankings, let’s dive into where ZiPS placed Dodgers prospects.

There was a player who cracked the Top 10 — but not the one you’re thinking of. Infielder Miguel Vargas came in at No. 9. This was certainly a surprise, especially considering he didn’t even crack FanGraphs’ original Top 100. But remember, these aren’t your prototypical rankings, these are based off projections.

It also isn’t as out of left field as you’d think. Vargas was ranked as high as No. 36 by Baseball Prospectus.

He appeared in 120 games last season between Great Lakes and Tulsa. The 22-year-old hit .319 with an OPS of .906. Vargas hit 23 home runs, 27 doubles and drove in 76 runs. Ever since he debuted in the minors, all he’s done is hit. In 427 career games he owns a .316 average. The only question with Vargas is how he shapes out defensively. Currently he plays third base, but as ZiPS projects he might only play first base in the majors.

Right behind Vargas is Andy Pages who comes in at No. 13. Just like with Vargas, this is the highest Pages has been in any of the rankings. His previous high was No. 68 with ESPN and Baseball Prospectus, respectively.

Per ZiPS:

Pages projects for as much power as anyone on this list. He may simply outgrow being able to play center, but if he peaks as a 125-135 OPS+ hitter, as ZiPS believes is likely, he doesn’t necessarily need to stick there.

The 20-year-old spent all of 2021 with the Loons at High-A. He put his name on the map, as he led the Dodgers organization with 31 home runs. Pages posted a 152 wRC+ last season, which was the highest wRC+ for anyone that age, at that level, since Christian Yelich in 2012.

Eddys Leonard was the third surprising name, coming in at No. 48. He was ranked on only one of the previous rankings, as he was No. 98 by Keith Law at The Athletic. This is certainly encouraging news, considering the Dodgers added him to their 40-man roster this offseason.

The Dodgers definitely see something in the 21-year-old, as he’s still only played 41 games at the High-A level. In 107 games last season between the Quakes and Loons, Leonard posted a 145 wRC+ and .929 OPS. He hit 22 home runs with 29 doubles while driving in 88 runs.

Lastly, Diego Cartaya comes in at No. 79. He’s been the top Dodgers prospect in nearly every ranking so far, so seeing him ranked No. 4 is certainly a little surprising. It makes sense, though. Since this is a projection system, it’s tough to project much of Cartaya considering his small sample size.

Cartaya played only 31 games with the Quakes in 2021. What a stint it was though, as he posted a 158 wrC+ and 1.023 OPS. The catcher hit 10 home runs and drove in 31 runs. If given a full season in 2022, I expect Cartaya to shoot up these rankings next season and possibly be ranked inside the top 10 next year.