Dodgers’ prospect Andy Pages underwent surgery on a torn labrum in his shoulder last week, reports Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic. The outfielder is expected to be ready for Spring Training, which seems to point towards him not returning in 2023.
It’s an obviously unfortunate development for both Pages and the Dodgers. The 22-year-old was pushing towards his first major league call-up, having recently been promoted from Double-A to Triple-A. Pages also already has a spot on the 40-man roster, having been added in November to protect him from being selected in the Rule 5 draft. Those factors could have allowed him to become a legitimate depth option for the Dodgers in the latter half of this season but that now seems to be off the table.
Pages, 22, is broadly considered to be one the club’s top 10 prospects and is even considered a top 100 guy in the league by some outlets. Each of FanGraphs, MLB Pipeline and Keith Law of The Athletic have him between #59 and #67 on their respective lists, though Pages isn’t in the top 100 at Baseball America or ESPN.
Despite the somewhat divisive nature of those evaluations, it’s generally agreed that he has tremendous power at the plate. His approach in the box involves a swing designed for optimizing launch angle to the pull side. That leads to home runs but also strikeouts, though he does have a keen enough eye to draw walks.
He spent all of last year in Double-A, striking out at a 24.5% rate but also walking 10.9% of the time while launching 26 home runs. His .236/.336/.468 batting line translated to a wRC+ of 102, or 2% above league average. He returned to that level this year and showed positive signs of development, getting his strikeout rate down to 22.5% while his walk rate ticked up to 17.6%. His .284/.430/.495 batting line amounted to a 146 wRC+.
Defensively, Pages has played all three outfield positions but the consensus seems to be that he won’t really be a viable option in center field. Evaluators think he can be an average defender in a corner, with his strong arm making him a good fit for right field.
Based on his strong start this year, he was promoted to Triple-A and played one game at that level on May 16. He hasn’t played since that game a couple of weeks ago and it now seems he may not play another until next season.
The Dodgers have some fluidity to their outfield at the moment, as Mookie Betts have been spending some time in the middle infield in addition to his customary right field spot. James Outman, Jason Heyward, David Peralta and Chris Taylor have also been in the mix, though Trayce Thompson just landed on the injured list today. Manager Dave Roberts says that Thompson will miss at least a month due to his left oblique strain, per Ardaya. Roberts adds that the right-handed hitting Jonny DeLuca, recalled today in a corresponding move for Thompson, will play against left-handed pitchers.
Pages also hits from the right side and could have been in the mix for such a role were he not injured. He and DeLuca were each promoted to Triple-A on the same day and would have had similar cases for making the jump to the majors. That’s a moot point now as Pages will be focused on rehabbing for the next several months.