Major League Baseball's owners may have locked out the players, triggering the league's first work stoppage since 1994-95 and bringing the offseason to a halt, but that doesn't mean we're letting it derail our typical offseason plans. Indeed, CBS Sports is in the process of highlighting the top three prospects for all 30 teams, as well as naming the top 50 prospects in the minors, regardless of team affiliation.
That journey finds us today focusing on the Los Angeles Dodgers' farm system.
Do note that these lists are formed after conversations with scouts, analysts, and player development folks from around the league. There is personal bias baked in, as one would expect from subjective exercises, so some disagreement is to be expected.
Now, onto the gasbaggery.
1. Bobby Miller, RHP
Coming out of Louisville, there were enough scouts who felt Miller would wind up in the bullpen that he slipped to the Dodgers at the end of the first round. Naturally, fewer than two years later, he seems more certain to stick in a rotation. Miller's best pitches are his mid-90s sinker and his slider, and he's seen both his changeup and command tick up since turning pro. If there's one blemish to his game at this point, it's a lack of exposure. The Dodgers micromanaged his outings last season, to the point where he averaged fewer than four frames per appearance. The game is changing, with starters shouldering fewer and fewer innings, but that's still on the light side for a perceived starter. Even so, Miller ought to reach the majors in 2022.
2. Miguel Vargas, 3B
Vargas may or may not end up as a third baseman for the long haul, but his bat is the reason he ranks this highly. Last season, he launched a career-high 23 home runs across High- and Double-A, and did it while hitting .319/.380/.526, walking, and keeping his strikeout rate under 20 percent. Given Vargas' youth (he celebrated his 22nd birthday in November), all signs point to him being a mid-order bat on the rise.
3. Diego Cartaya, C
Cartaya, who turned 20 in September, was limited to 31 Low-A games last season due to visa issues. In those contests, he hit .298/.409/.614 with 10 home runs. Cartaya's best offensive trait is his raw power, although he also has a mature grasp of the strike zone. Defensively, he's regarded as a sure thing to remain behind the plate. That combination bodes well for his chances of developing into a starting catcher.