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Dodgers: Baseball Scout Not Sold on James Outman’s Future in LA

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 Timestalked 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.

DiGiovanna writes:

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.

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11 Comments

  1. 1. We weren’t active at the winter meetings due to the CBT and the contracts free agents were receiving, not because we have outstanding trust in our prospects alone.
    2. Trying to hit for power is the enemy of making contact with the ball. Outman and pretty much any other Dodger in the starting lineup could hit for average and contact if the reward system was consistent with that goal. Drew Avans is a good fielding/hit for average/OPS center fielder who didn’t even make our 40 man roster this year. Struck out a lot but has good offensive stats. Kinda shows what we value.

  2. I know Outman didn’t strike out 16 times in the 4 games he played at the ML level. If they won 111 games with Bellinger, they can give him a long runway, especially if his defense is a plus as it is said to be. He won’t be hitting much against lefties in his rookie year, so look at his splits, and drool at his stats vs righties, looks a lot like 2019 Bellinger.

  3. This is a team that has Chris Taylor on it. His swing has zero margin for error…thus, he leads all of baseball in K percentage. They weren’t able to fix Bellinger’s K rate either. If they aren’t successful fixing those guys, they probably aren’t going to try and. “Fix” Outman. This is an organization that will not say it out loud, but they absolutely fine with a swing for the HR approach and not for contact. THIS is the organization’s issue in the playoffs. Strikeouts and the inability to put the ball in play. He will fit in perfect

    1. The Dodgers were 15th out of 30 teams in MLB in strikeouts on offense in 2022. There’s room for improvement but it’s not a fatal flaw.

      1. Dodgers may have been 15th of the 30 teams in strikeouts in the regular season but as Randy says it’s in the post season where Dodgers fail BECAUSE OF STRIKEOUTS and the inability to put ball in play when it matters the most with RISP

  4. If you are gonna right an article at least get the facts right. Outman did not strikeout 16 times with LA He had 6 hits in his 13 at bats and struck out the other 7 times. I do agree that his K rate in MILB is a concern.

  5. If you swing on a plane that is different than the pitch you miss a lot. That is the price of increase launch angle. Versus the old straight to and through the ball.

  6. I believe Outman is worth a better look and some more mlb hitting coachs and players input this next season and it would be a bad decision not to do so. Lots of talent here.

  7. He should platoon, starting against right handed pitchers and pinch hitting against right handed relievers. His defense appears to be more than adequate. He will earn the minimum. If he platoons with Chris Taylor or Trace Thompson in center, the total production from center fielders in the lineup will likely significantly exceed Bellinger’s production without a significant drop-off in defense.

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