Emilio Vargas (minors)
Emilio Vargas Polanco
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 3", Weight 220 lb.
Vargas learned to be a barber when he was 14 and has done haircuts for his teammates.  He was 1-2 with a 6.35 ERA for the 2013 DSL Diamondbacks but improved to 4-4, 2.21 for the same team a year later. He came to the US in '15, pitching for the Missoula Osprey (1-0, 0 R in 4 IP), AZL Diamondbacks (5-1, Sv, 2.55) and Visalia Rawhide (3 R in 2 2/3 IP). He was 5th in the Arizona League in ERA (between Ivan Andueza and Nicholas Gonzalez) and tied for 3rd in wins (behind Arnaldo Hernandez and Pedro Payano. 
He split 2016 between the Kane County Cougars (5-6, 3.31) and Visalia (7.80 in 4 G). He struck out 17 one game.  In '17, he posted a 5-7, 4.02 record for Kane County and got a save in his lone relief appearance. He pitched in 2018 for Visalia (8-5, 2.50, 140 K in 108 IP) and the Jackson Generals (1-3, 4.04). He tied Joel Payamps and Jayson McKinley for 6th in the D-backs chain in victories and he was second with 170 strikeouts (six shy of Taylor Widener). Despite not pitching enough innings to qualify for the California League ERA title, he still tied for 6th in wins and was third in K (behind teammate Riley Smith and Pedro Avila). His ERA was .55 better than league leader Darren McCaughan.  He joined Rico Garcia, Reid Humphreys and Dustin May as the league's All-Star pitchers and he won Pitcher of the Year.  Baseball America rated him as the Cal League's #19 prospect, between Tyler Nevin and Bryson Brigman.  He tied Michael Kopech for 6th in the affiliated minors in whiffs. 
He split 2019 between Jackson (5-3, 3.78) and the AZL Diamondbacks (4.35 in 3 G), missing time with injury. He was 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA for the Salt River Rafters, striking out nine in six innings. The 2020 minor league season was wiped out by the COVID-19 pandemic. Waived by Arizona, he was claimed by the Chicago White Sox.  He was 1-0 with a 2.76 ERA for the Birmingham Barons in May then joined the Dominican team for the Americas Olympic Qualifier.
The Moca native debuted for the Dominicans against eventual champion Team USA, relieving Darío Álvarez with a 4-3 deficit in the 5th. He struck out Nick Allen, gave up a Luke Williams single, fanned Jarren Duran and got Todd Frazier on a fly. The Dominicans took a 5-4 lead in the top of the 6th. In the bottom of the sixth, he whiffed Eric Filia and Triston Casas singled. He was relieved by Luis Gonzalez, who let the inherited run score as the US got their winning rally. In Vargas's other game, he relieved Enny Romero with a 7-0 lead over Venezuela in the 7th but gave up hits to Carlos Pérez and Gabriel Noriega, with a Diego Rincones fly-out in between. Álvarez relieved and both runners would score, giving Emilio a 16.20 ERA for the event despite not being on the hill when any runs scored. He had the team's highest ERA on the tourney; Radhamés Liz was next at 9.82. Seven pitchers from other squads had higher ERAs, though. The Dominicans did not win a spot in the Tokyo Olympics but did well enough to move on to the Final Olympic Qualifier.