Vogt: D-backs prospect Varsho will have long career as everyday player

Jul 9, 2020, 2:22 PM
Daulton Varsho #25 of the National League Futures Team bats during the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Ga...
Daulton Varsho #25 of the National League Futures Team bats during the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at Progressive Field (Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Give someone close to or in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization enough time to talk about the team’s prospects and it won’t take long before they get to Daulton Varsho.

I’ll let D-backs director of player development Josh Barfield explain why.

“The kid has been an absolute stud from day one,” he told the D-backs BP Show in mid-June. “Such a unique package. He’s this little guy, but he’s really strong. He’s a catcher, but he’s crazy athletic. Probably one of the fastest guys we have in the minor leagues and our best base stealer and bunter by far.

“The way he works … he just has that work ethic where, ‘I’m gonna be a big leaguer. I’m gonna do whatever it takes to be the best player on the field.’ There’s no cockiness to it. He’s confident. He knows he can play but he’s always still trying to learn.”

Varsho is ranked the No. 3 D-backs prospect by MLB Pipeline. He spent all of 2019 in Double-A Jackson, where he hit .301 with 19 home runs and 58 RBIs for an OPS of .899 that led the Southern League.

The 24-year-old is listed as a catcher and primarily plays there, but can play in the outfield and even in center, somewhere he started late last season.

Offseason acquisition and seven-year MLB veteran Stephen Vogt hasn’t been around Varsho all that long but sees something special in his fellow catcher.

“He is someone that I know is gonna be an every-day big leaguer and he can do it at multiple positions and that’s gonna provide him a long career with versatility,” he said Wednesday.

Vogt, though, first spoke to Varsho’s professional approach and mental strengths as to what stood out more than the rare combination of skills.

“This is a kid that is well wise beyond his years,” he said. “I’m blown away by his baseball IQ and his self-evaluation skills. He knows what his strengths are, he knows where he needs to get better and he’s working towards those.”

As you’ll get to learn with Varsho, there’s always more to add. And Vogt wanted to give props to Varsho’s bat, too.

“And when you can hit the way he can, he’s gonna stick around for a very, very long time,” he said.

Ditto for Barfield.

“As little as he is, it’s just such an explosive package,” he said. “(The way) that ball comes off his bat, other than Kevin Cron, it’s probably the loudest in our whole system.”

While the D-backs have one of the better farm systems in baseball, the top-end isn’t all that close to being in the majors yet, except for Varsho. He’s the only one in MLB Pipeline’s top-six with an ETA listed by them before 2022, and they have Varsho down for 2020.

The two-way street, of course, is the upcoming season of minor league baseball being canceled. But, with extra roster spots needed as well during the coronavirus pandemic, teams’ 60-man roster includes the “taxi squad” that Varsho finds himself in.

He joins a handful of guys that will be going from Salt River Fields to Chase Field when the team needs them during summer camp, as Varsho did on Wednesday.

Varsho played in left field during an intrasquad game and it sounds like manager Torey Lovullo is confident D-backs fans will get to know one of the team’s top young players better this season.

“I feel like we’re gonna get a really good dose of Daulton Varsho, get a chance to see what he’s gonna be able to do,” he said Wednesday.

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Vogt: D-backs prospect Varsho will have long career as everyday player