Minnesota Twins MiLB Weekly: Where Is Kennys Vargas?
The last Minnesota Twins fans saw of Kennys Vargas, he was struggling to produce before being sent down.
O Kennys Vargas, where art thou?
The once promising Vargas hasn’t appeared in regular season game for the Minnesota Twins since the last game of the year in 2015. He came into 2016 battling Oswaldo Arcia for a bench role during spring training. Clearly it didn’t go well for Vargas as the Twins optioned him to Rochester mid-March.
In 2014, I wouldn’t have predicted his fallout. Sitting in section 125, I watched as the future stars of the coming years played in the Futures All-Star Game. Vargas came to bat for the World team and lined a double off the right field wall.
It was his only hit in four at-bats. I remember at the time hearing Vargas being compared to a young David Ortiz. My optimism was higher after hearing such high remarks, while keeping in mind that Vargas is a switch-hitter.
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I thought to myself, “he has Ortiz potential from both sides of the plate.” Consider myself caught up in the hype, because since then I’ve reflected on how quickly I anointed Vargas as the next top hitting prospect the Twins will call up.
Vargas debuted later that season in August. In his first 29 games, he drove in 24 RBI. He left quite the impression with another solid albeit less productive September.
None of his success in 2014 carried over into 2015. In the first month of the year Vargas slashed .172/.232/.234 and struck out 21 times while walking just five times. Not much changed, even after getting sent down to Triple A and getting recalled soon after.
Something changed when Vargas was sent down a second time, but this time he was sent to double-A Chattanooga. In the first 26 games in Double A, Vargas walked 18 times, two more walks than he had all year up to his demotion.
This season, Vargas continues to improve his walk and strikeout rates but is only slashing .211/.328/.298 in Triple A. He’s still on the 40-man roster but with no foreseeable call-up, I’m ready to declare Vargas as a quad-A player.
A quad-A player is a player who performs at an all-star level in the Triple A, but is barely good enough to serve as a bench player in the majors. A perfect example would be former Twins first baseman Chris Parmelee.
At 25 years old, Vargas has little to no value like he once did in 2014. Which brings me back to the Futures All-Star Game. I’m left wondering what could have been for Vargas.