Dodgers Prospect Notes: Feduccia, Busch, Vargas homer, but OKC defeated in AAA National Championship Game

Michael Busch

Oklahoma City lost to International League champion Norfolk Saturday night in the Triple-A National Championship game. Norfolk, the Orioles’ Triple-A affiliate, won 7-6 in Las Vegas.


Yency Almonte was the starting pitcher for OKC, joining the squad in Vegas on a rehab assignment. Almonte struck out two and tossed a scoreless inning in his first game action since sustaining a knee injury on Aug. 11.

After they fell behind 1-0, Hunter Feduccia got the OKC offense started in the fifth with his second home run of the playoffs. It was a no-doubter that Feduccia pulled 421 feet. OKC’s backstop batted .400 with a 1.555 OPS while starting all three of their games this postseason.

One inning later, Jonny Deluca gave OKC the lead, driving in a run with a single up the middle. OKC was in a good spot, leading by a run heading into the seventh.

It was then that a 455-foot grand slam off the bat of top Orioles prospect Colton Cowser turned the game on its head and put OKC behind. They allowed two more runs in the top of the ninth, falling behind 7-2 going into the final half inning.

A leadoff walk from Jorbit Vivas was followed with two quick outs, but that’s when things got interesting. First, Drew Avans singled in Vivas to make the score 7-3. Then, Michael Busch stepped to the plate and drilled his second homer of the playoffs to cut the deficit to two.

Norfolk responded with a pitching change, but even from there, the Dodgers were not quite done. Miguel Vargas hit a homer for his second extra base hit of the night. Down to their final out, the Dodgers had scored four runs to make it interesting.

The miracle rally fell just short, as Ryan Ward was put down on strikes to end the game.


Although they didn’t finish it with a national title, this was still a fantastic season for OKC. The franchise finished the regular season with a Triple-A best .608 winning percentage, and they took home their first Pacific Coast League Championship since becoming the Dodgers’ affiliate in 2015.

Many of the players from this roster will be in competition for Major League jobs next spring, whether it be with the Dodgers or somewhere else. Players such as Busch and Vargas should be expected in Los Angeles next year, with others like Deluca and Feduccia likely to contribute as well.

This game wrapped up the main portion of the 2023 Minor League season. All that remains is the Arizona Fall League, which kicks off its schedule on Monday night.

About Bruce Kuntz

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I'm a Long Beach State journalism student and I've been writing about the Dodgers and their farm system since I was in high school.