What to Expect from Dodgers Infielder Michael Busch
Another piece of the Dodgers’ future.
The Dodgers will start the week off with a series against the surging Pittsburgh Pirates, and will do so with one of the team’s top prospects on the roster. 2B/OF Michael Busch will join the Dodgers for the series, as he’s set to replace Max Muncy on the roster. Here’s a look at what the former UNC star has been up to in the Minors.
Related: What to Expect from Rockies Outfielder Brenton Doyle
A Look at Busch
A first-round pick by the Dodgers in the 2019 MLB Draft, Michael Busch‘s standout tool while at North Carolina was his power. Four years into his professional career, and that’s remained the same.
Busch hit 20 home runs in his first full season in 2021, then 32 between Tulsa (AA) and Oklahoma City (AAA) in 2022. In total last year, the 25-year-old hit .274/.365/.516 with 70 extra base hits and 108 runs batted in.
The former Tar Heels star’s hit tool is still a bit of a question mark, but it should be at least average at the Major League level. And in addition to his plus power that allows him to effortlessly drive the ball, Busch does possess a very keen eye at the plate — a trait that should make Dodgers management excited. Across 142 games in 2022, Busch walked 74 times.
Busch is off to a .337 start to the 2023 season with Oklahoma City. While he’s only hit two home runs with the OKC Dodgers, he does have ten extra base hits and a .461 OBP to his name in AAA thus far.
Defensively, Busch has primarily been a second baseman in his professional career, but he does have some experience in the outfield. The Dodgers prospect played 13 games in left last year.
The 25-year-old will be the second 2019 Dodgers draft pick to make the Majors, joining Ryan Pepiot. He’ll join a number of other rookies in LA, including Miguel Vargas, James Outman, and Michael Grove. As a corresponding move, MLB home run leader Max Muncy was placed on the paternity list.
A Look at the Dodgers
With Muncy on the paternity list, Busch’s initial run in the Majors will likely be short. However, the power-hitting second baseman may be a permanent option very soon. The current start at second for the Dodgers, Miguel Vargas, has been off to a slow start to begin the year. Thus far, he’s only hitting .213/.364/.295 with four extra base hits across 21 games.
The on-base percentage is fine, but Busch’s ability to pounce on the baseball could make him a more viable option in the short-term — especially if he makes the most out of this opportunity.