Michael Busch Wants To Be A Complete Player
Michael Busch's best position on a baseball field is obvious—the batter's box.
But the 31st pick in the 2019 draft doesn't want to be known as a one-way player.
"I like to think of myself as a complete player," said Busch, a 22-year-old lefthanded hitter. "I don't really like to say I'm a better hitter than I am a defender. If that's the case, then maybe I need to work a little harder on my defense and become a better defender."
Long term, scouting director Billy Gasparino said the Dodgers see "overall defensive versatility" in Busch, who played mainly first base and left field at North Carolina. Multi-positional ability is certainly something the Dodgers value.
For now, though, Busch is going to make second base his primary home.
"I played the outfield and some second in college," Busch said. "Really in high school, I just played shortstop, but I played second some in fall ball. That was really the only experience.
"But (the Dodgers) gave me a bunch of tips and helped me out every day, just trying to get me as comfortable as possible as quickly as possible."
In his pro debut after signing for a $2.31 million, Busch played four of his five games in the Rookie-level Arizona League at second base before moving up to low Class A Great Lakes.
Again, he played second base in four of five games before getting hit in the hand by a pitch, ending his time there. In the Arizona Fall League, he played second base only once in five games, seeing time at first base as well.
The bat that was Busch's main asset in the draft has yet to show. He hit just .125 in those 10 minor league games, albeit with seven walks and five strikeouts.
"All you've got is baseball," Busch said of his first taste of the pro experience. "No school. Not many things I'd rather be doing than that . . . It's a job, but it's a lot of fun."
— In the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft, the Dodgers selected 23-year-old second baseman Carlos Sepulveda. The lefthanded batter hit .269 in four seasons in the Cubs' system, all at Class A or lower. Sepulveda was playing for Obregon in the Mexican Pacific League this winter.
— The Dodgers' big league coaching staff will feature a few changes for 2020. Most notably, Rick Honeycutt will move into an advisory role, and Mark Prior will replace him as pitching coach. Josh Bard returns to his former role as bullpen coach after two years on the Yankees' coaching staff. The Dodgers will also add Connor McGuinness as an assistant pitching coach. McGuinness, 30, spent the past two seasons as the pitching coach at the Dodgers' high Class A Rancho Cucamonga affiliate.