Echedry Vargas Fantasy Baseball Breakdown

A fantasy baseball breakdown of prospect Echedry Vargas.

Predicting the next “big thing” from a fantasy baseball prospect perspective is one of the most satisfying feelings in dynasty leagues. Finding a sleeper prospect that can rise to stardom often starts in the low levels of the Minor Leagues.

The following leagues are often the best places to look: DSL, ACL, FCL, and potentially Low-A/High-A. Getting in early is key. Personally, the DSL is extremely tough to predict and it feels like most of the prospecting community is on the same page there, but sometimes there are prospects that are too hard to ignore.

One of those prospects for me recently was Echedry Vargas of the Texas Rangers.


Who is Echedry Vargas?


2022 Stats (DSL-ROK): 223 PA/.301/.368/.510/4 HR/27 RBI/40 R/13 SB

2023 Stats (ACL-ROK): 222 PA/.315/.387/.569/11 HR/39 RBI/46 R/17 SB (As of 8/27)

Career Stats (DSL/ACL): 445 PA/.308/.378/.539/15 HR/66 RBI/86 R/30 SB (As of 8/27)

Echedry Vargas’ name has started to generate some significant buzz in the fantasy community this season. Vargas’ signing back in 2022 went virtually unnoticed. He signed for just $10,000 but has the chance to be one of the best signings of that class. 

At just 18, Vargas spent the majority of 2023 in the Complex League where he filled up the stat sheet before earning a late-season promotion to Low-A. Considering Vargas will be just 19 years old for the entirety of the 2024 season, he has a chance to be one of the fastest risers up prospect lists next season.

A middle infielder on the smaller side; Vargas stands at 5’11” weighing in right around 170 pounds. Despite his size, Vargas provides good power stemming from a sizeable leg kick. His ability to preload his hands and swing allows him to tap into his pull-side power allowing his game power to play up beyond his size.

So far in his professional career, Vargas has done nothing but rake. Now might be your last chance to stash him before he becomes a household name.


Echedry Vargas’ Offensive Profile


Success at the lower levels of the Minor Leagues is not always indicative of a player’s talent level. However, it is safe to say Vargas is checking all of the boxes early in his professional career.

One stat that is extremely important to look at early on is his strikeout rate. So far, Vargas has managed to keep his strikeout rate at a reasonable level despite his aggression at the plate. This rate did jump from 12.1% in the DSL to 24.3% at the Complex Level which makes this an area to keep an eye on. Vargas may need to adjust his approach at the plate as his competition increases.

As previously mentioned, Vargas is an aggressive hitter but he has shown growth in this area in 2023. After walking just 5.8% of the time in 2022, Vargas’ walk rate has jumped to 9.5% this season.

As Vargas continues to grow into his frame, his power is taking a step forward. After posting a HR/FB% of just 5.1% in 2022, this number jumped all the way up to 16.7% this season. He hit 11 home runs in just 222 plate appearances including these two below:

Power may never be Vargas’ strongest skill, but he certainly knows how to make the most of the raw power that he has. Not only does Vargas specialize in pulling the baseball, but gets it in the air plenty. His fly ball percentages through his first two seasons sit at 48.2% and 46.8%.

The two biggest keys to hitting home runs? Pulling the ball and getting it in the air. Vargas is already showing the ability to do both. Although it is still early in his professional career, power might be his most underrated skill.

Vargas’ natural instinct to pull the baseball is great for his power, but he is also showing growth in his ability to use all fields. Vargas sprayed the ball around the field more in 2023 as he went from a 57.9% pull, 18.7% center & 23.4% opposite field hitter in 2022 to a 49.3% pull, 22.9% center & 27.8% opposite field hitter in 2023.

His 2023 BABIP of .383 might be unsustainable, but it is important to note that Vargas also saw improvements in his line drive rate this season. After sitting below 16% last season, Vargas’ line drive rate jumped to 20.6% this season. Increased swing consistency combined with his speed should allow Vargas to continue to hit for strong averages.

Speaking of speed, this is the most enticing part of Vargas’ fantasy baseball profile. After stealing 13 bases in 54 DSL games last season, Vargas once again was showing off the wheels this year. He went an impressive 17/20 in the stolen base category at the Complex League in 2023.

If you prorate that for 600 plate appearances, Vargas was on pace for 48 stolen bases. This is not to say we should project him as a potential 50 stolen base player, but the plus speed and stolen base upside only raise the ceiling for this exciting prospect.


Echedry Vargas’ Defensive Profile


Defensively, Vargas has shown the ability to play all over the infield. He has already seen time at second base, shortstop, and third base early in his professional career.

His best fielding percentage has come at second base which is also where Vargas spent the most time in 2023. Factoring in his size, this seems like the most likely future landing spot for Vargas. Projecting him as a second baseman creates even more future value from a fantasy perspective.

Although defense is often an afterthought for fantasy baseball players, a prospect’s ability to rise quickly through the Minor Leagues is often contingent on defense. In addition to having an exciting offensive profile, Vargas is quickly demonstrating his ability to be an effective defender in a variety of positions.

There is a chance Vargas can provide multi-position eligibility in a utility role which is always valuable in fantasy. So long as his offensive production continues at its current rate, the Rangers will have no issue finding a spot for Vargas in the future.


Echedry Vargas Fantasy Baseball Outlook


From a dynasty fantasy baseball perspective, Vargas certainly fits the definition of a deep prospect at the moment. Buried in a deep farm system behind players such as Evan Carter, Wyatt Langford, and Abimelec Ortiz (just to name a few), Vargas’ name is still relatively unheard of. That makes now the perfect time to be buying in before the hype train catches up.

From a comparison standpoint, there are a couple of players that stick out. The first is Gleyber Torres. Torres hits for solid, albeit unspectacular, average with solid pop and decent speed. Torres’ profile prioritizes power over speed while Vargas is likely the opposite. While Torres tends to hit around 25 home runs with 10-15 stolen bases, Vargas will likely hit closer to 15 home runs while stealing 25-30 stolen bases in a season.

The second, and likely more accurate projection is Andrés Giménez. Gimenez hits for strong average with his best fantasy asset being his legs. Vargas’ future fantasy profile projects in the same way. Both hitters can launch the ball out of the park, but that is not the category generating most of their value. An average in the .270 range with 15-20 home runs and 25-30 stolen bases is the perfect comparison for Vargas.

If you are looking for the next breakout prospect, Echedry Vargas needs to be on your shortlist of names to watch. Over almost a full season of at-bats, Vargas has a .378 OBP, 15 home runs, 30 stolen bases, 86 runs, and 66 RBIs. This is consistent production across all five categories.  Vargas’ rise is even more exciting because of the impressive strides he has taken in just his second professional season. I would not wait much longer to get on the Vargas hype train as he could take off in 2024.

If you enjoyed reading about Vargas, check out the recent work from my colleague Martin as he broke down Coby Mayo here.

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