These Dodgers prospects might have to replace big names

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
After a disappointing end to the year, free agency could create significant holes that need filling in Los Angeles.

After winning 111 games and failing to reach the NLCS, the Dodgers are going into the offseason with a fairly large list of impending free agents. Prospects from the Los Angeles farm system will be counted upon to pick up the production that will inevitably be lost this winter.

IF/OF Miguel Vargas, 22

With over a month of time as a big leaguer under his belt already, Miguel Vargas is the first player that comes to mind for a role increase in 2023. Although his defense has been the most questionable part of Vargas’ game this year, he can play multiple positions, meaning he could find innings at third base, second base, first base, or possibly left field. Although he didn’t get into a game, Vargas’ inclusion on the postseason roster shows how the Dodgers organization values his bat, and that he is a good enough hitter to eventually grow into an everyday starter. Whatever players are lost this offseason, Vargas will likely take a large portion of the newly vacant workload.

2B Michael Busch, 24

Turning 25 this November, the time is now for former first rounder Michael Busch to break through to the Dodgers. He had a great season at the plate in 2022, hitting 32 homers and setting multiple career highs between Double-A and Triple-A. Despite his older age, this year was only his second full minor league campaign due to the 2020 season being lost after he was drafted in 2019. Trea Turner’s free agency and the possibility of Gavin Lux having to move to shortstop could create an opportunity up the middle for Busch. His defense is passable at second base, and he will more than likely see his Los Angeles debut in 2023.

OF James Outman, 25

James Outman had a hugely successful 2022 season, making his major league debut and tearing through minor league competition. He brings multiple plus tools to the table, with his quality defense, speed, and emerging power stroke as a hitter. The possibility of Cody Bellinger being nontendered as well as Joey Gallo’s free agency could open a spot for Outman. Turning 26 in May, he is sure to be back in the majors at some point, either as a platoon bat or as a quality bench option for the Dodgers.

RHP Gavin Stone, 24

Frankly, Gavin Stone had one of the greatest minor league pitching seasons ever in 2022. He emerged as a top tier prospect, flashing incredible stuff and putting up numbers that are hard to believe, from his 1.48 ERA to his 0.22 HR/9 in 26 games. With Clayton Kershaw, Tyler Anderson and Andrew Heaney all hitting free agency for the Dodgers, Stone could have a rotation spot relatively quick. His pitch repertoire looks major league ready, and Stone will have many eyes watching if he can continue his dominance onto the big stage at some point in 2023.

IF Jacob Amaya, 24

Jacob Amaya showed flashes of high potential during 2022. He had huge hot streaks during April and September, but struggled at the plate in the middle months of the season. Defense at shortstop is Amaya’s calling card, and that could be enough to get him on the major league roster if Trea Turner leaves the Dodgers in free agency.

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