3 Dodgers top prospect favorites off to excellent starts in 2022
By Adam Weinrib
The Los Angeles Dodgers are currently in flames at the MLB level, but below the surface, some of their top prospects are also proving they’re ready for primetime.
Too much! It’s just too much! Good news overload! Why are you doing this to us?! So sorry, but it’s our solemn duty to inform you that several Dodgers top prospects are also meeting and exceeding their very high expectations at the moment. And there’s nothing you can do about it.
Where are they going to go? When are they going to debut? That’s tomorrow’s worry. For now, it’s fair to sit back and just appreciate what’s bubbling at Oklahoma City and Tulsa.
Remember, these paths aren’t always linear. Gavin Lux was all-world, a spectacular talent unearthed from Wisconsin who’d risen to the top of the MLB-wide prospect mountain … until it took him several seasons and a transition from middle infield to a roving role to find his footing (finally!) in 2022.
These top prospects may not be knocking on the door of the bigs like it seems right now (again, you find a place for ’em), but all three seem to be reaching their minor-league peak.
That means great things for the Dodgers’ depth and, yes, an opportunity to assess a reload at the trade deadline.
None of these three players are absolutely untouchable, and all are performing like they’re ready for a promotion in April 2022. Forcing the issue. We love to see it.
3 Dodgers prospects off to hot starts in 2022
3. Michael Busch
Of all the Dodgers prospects strutting their stuff thus far in 2022, Michael Busch is the one who might be forcing the issue the most. He’s 24 years old, an advanced collegiate bat, and he still remains at Double-A as the Dodgers attempt to bide their time in his development process (and, yes, kick his potential promotion down the road).
Busch will spend the full season at 24, but by sometime this summer should probably be pushed to Triple-A, at which point the Dodgers will have to likely decide what their vision is for him long-term. With Max Muncy now firmly entrenched at second, will Busch be a starter for this franchise? Will Muncy move to DH in the not-so-distant future?
If Busch keeps hitting like this — with pop and OBP skills mixed in — he’ll earn a September call-up this fall to at least get the ball rolling.
So far, in nine games and 30 at-bats of repeating the level, Busch is hitting .267, slugging .500 and carrying a .939 OPS with a pair of bombs. He’s also walked nine times in nine games, showing a mastery of Double-A ball after (again) spending a full 107-game season in Oklahoma last year.
Triple-A OKC is within the same state’s borders. Busch has proven, during a very short sprint to start the year, that he’s ready for that challenge, even if LA seems hesitant to let him get so close to the bigs (where he’s effectively blocked).