Dodgers' Michael Busch On Verge Of Helping MLB Club
Six Dodgers appear in the Top 100 Prospects. Five of them are likely to be in the big leagues at some point this season, with only catcher Diego Cartaya the only exception.
“It’s definitely exciting. That’s everybody’s dream, right?” said Michael Busch, who ranked No. 54. “You’re getting close and the excitement is building up. But I just try to take it day by day.”
The 25-year-old Busch, a 2019 first-rounder from North Carolina, emerged as a prospect on the verge of being MLB ready with a 2022 season that saw him hit .274/.365/.516 with 32 home runs, 108 RBIs and 118 runs between Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City.
The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Busch's most big league-ready asset is his ability to control the strike zone as a hitter—a power-and-patience combination that has led to comparisons with two-time all-star Max Muncy.
“I have (heard that),” Busch said of the comparisons. “I’ve been around Muncy in spring training, and he had some rehab time (in Triple-A) last year. He’s an awesome guy, works really hard, can really swing the bat and he takes his work on defense really serious."
Muncy has made his mark with the Dodgers playing first, second and third base over the years. Primarily a first baseman in college, Busch was converted to second base in the Dodgers’ system and added left field to his portfolio in 2022.
If the scouting report on Busch is that his defense needs to improve in order to get his bat in the lineup, so be it, he says.
“I try to be honest with myself,” he said. “I think confidence is a huge thing, but at some point you have to be real with yourself and if you’re not performing to the ability that the Dodgers expect of you, you’ve got to talk to yourself about that and work on some things that you might be uncomfortable with.
"That’s what I’ve been doing over the last few years."
— The Dodgers signed several pitchers with big league experience to minor league contracts this winter, including Jordan Yamamoto, Dylan Covey, Wander Suero, Adam Kolarek and Matt Andriese. After pitching for five teams over seven major league seasons, Andriese spent 2022 pitching in Japan, posting a 2.86 ERA.
— Outfielder Jason Martin parlayed an impressive season with Triple-A Oklahoma City into a $1 million contract to play in Korea Baseball Organization in 2023. Martin, 27, spent the full season with Oklahoma City, batting .285 with a .938 OPS, 32 home runs and 107 RBIs. Martin played 85 games with the Pirates and Rangers from 2019 to 2021.