Every week, I want to highlight a prospect that you either love, hate, never heard of, or is a future draft pick. Michael Busch has been an exciting prospect since his time at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He’s an excellent second base prospect for the Dodgers and looks to be a vital piece of the Dodgers future.
Busch is the perfect middle of the order bat with his power potential and ability to hit for a high average and on-base but what else makes Busch such an interesting prospect?
Let’s BRKDWN Michael Busch shall we?
Name: Michael Busch
Weight: 210 lbs
During his time at UNC, Busch was arguably their best hitter before being selected 31st overall by the Dodgers in the 2019 draft. He hit .282/.429/.492 with 32 home runs and a .921 OPS in 790 plate appearances at UNC. One thing to note is, he was able to manipulate his swing for more power, while still producing good numbers across the board. What I mean by this is, his on-base percentage lowered in his final two seasons, in order to garner a higher slugging percentage.
So far, the success of Busch hasn’t translated as many thought. He’s hit .125/.371/.125 with no home runs and a .496 OPS. However, this was in a small sample size of 35 plate appearances. 2021 will be his first full year of action and I’m looking forward to it.
Busch has one of the more encouraging contact tools in the Dodgers system. He combines a future above-average contact tool with a pull friendly approach. Busch’s swing is longer and he’s more of a low ball hitter. He’s quiet and steady from the left side that includes a low hand placement and a slightly open stance. Being a left-handed hitter, the pitch down-and-in is his preference. On the contrary, he struggles with anything above the hands, but he does show a good eye at the plate. In his first pro-season, Busch put up a respectable 20% walk rate in a 35 plate appearance sample size.
While I am a fan of his contact tool, his power tool will surely surprise as he matures. His load consists of excellent weight transfer with his lower half and a small leg kick for a load. What’s interesting is he’s more of a gap to gap power threat but still has the ability to hit 20+ home runs a year. Another intriguing thought is that fans didn’t see what Busch was capable of in the power department until his senior year when he hit 16 home runs in 312 plate appearances. His total number of plate appearances was only two more than his junior year, where he hit 13 home runs in 310 plate appearances.
Busch is athletic for his size and has had some versatility in his career to date, playing at first base and in the outfield. He has average arm strength and has decent range. Busch is more of a bat first prospect but his fielding is good enough to stay at second base long term. He has fringe speed to round out his tools.
Why should you be excited:
Michael Busch is a top five prospect for the Dodgers for a reason. His potential with the bat is among the best in the system. He has the ability to hit for a high average, walk at a high rate and provide so much value with his power whether it’s 20-25 home runs a year or consistent gap-to-gap power that’ll make him an extra base threat for a long time. Plus, the Dodgers are among the best in developing talent that’ll help Busch shine in his career. The Dodgers already have Gavin Lux, so it’ll be a challenge for Busch but don’t be surprised when he starts making more noise around the MLB.
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