No. 13 LA Prospect, James Outman, instantly stole the hearts of many Dodgers fans when he made his major league debut this past summer, but some aren’t sold on the idea of him playing more this upcoming season.
After the Dodgers decided not to make any big moves during the Winter Meetings, you can assume that they will rely on some up-and-coming talent.
There’s already talk about Miguel Vargas getting some more playing time this year but James Outman remains a big question mark.
The 25-year-old appeared in four games at the major-league level, homering in his first at-bat. He was batting .462 with a 1.409 OPS across his short stint with Los Angeles but also struck out a concerning 16 times.
Mike DiGiovanna, from the Los Angeles Times, talked with Dave Roberts, OKC manager Travis Barbary, and two unnamed scouts about five prospects who could have an impact on the Dodgers in 2023.
Outman’s strikeout rate was a topic of conversation as they shared that between Double-A, Triple-A, and the majors, Outman has struck out 159 times in 575 plate appearances, a 27.7% K rate.
But there are concerns about an uppercut in his swing that leaves Outman vulnerable to elevated fastballs and down-and-away breaking balls and contributed to his 152 strikeouts last season.
“When you’re striking out that many times in the minor leagues, it’s a little concerning to me,” Scout One said. “This good of an athlete? He should not strike out 152 times. But I believe he has the hand-eye coordination to flatten his swing out and be a better hitter who is not looking to just drive the ball every at-bat.”
Outman’s spent 4 years in the Dodgers farm system since being drafted in 2018 and like scout said, still has some room to grow and improve. MLB.com has listed the outfielder as one of the most athletic players in the system so maybe he just needs a few more games to really prove that going forward.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube Channel yet? Subscribe and hit that notification bell to stay up to date on all the latest Dodgers news, rumors, interviews, live streams, and more!