As the 2023 baseball season quickly approaches, it’s that time of year people start setting their predictions for who to keep an eye on. According to a recent article from MLB.com, FanGraphs’ Steamer projections recently named some of the top hitters (in terms of home runs) to watch out for on each team.
To no surprise, players such as Aaron Judge, Mike Trout, and Kyle Schwarber are expected to dominate once again and lead their respective teams and the entire MLB in home runs.
Half of the team leaders listed are projected to hit 30+ home runs this upcoming season and on that list is our very own Mookie Betts.
“Dodgers: Mookie Betts (31)
Betts is projected to be the only Dodger to reach the 30-homer mark for the second straight season.”
Last year, Betts smashed a career-high 35 homers to finish the season with a .269 AVG. Following behind him were Freddie Freeman and Trea Turner with 21 homers each.
But now that Turner has parted ways with the Dodgers and is officially a Philly, LA is in need of another hitter to step up.
This offseason, the Dodgers acquired free-agent J.D. Martinez who is expected to make a big impact in the designated hitter position. Although his 2022 season was nothing all that special as he hit for 16 homers and a .274 AVG, he has a few very impressive seasons under his belt in terms of home runs:
- 2021 with the Red Sox: 28 HR and .286 AVG
- 2019 with the Red Sox: 36 HR and .304 AVG
- 2018 with the Red Sox: 43 HR and .330 AVG (career high in both categories)
- 2015 with the Tigers: 38 HR and .282 AVG
But instead of Martinez getting a nod from the MLB writers, it was 25-year-old outfielder, James Outman that they think people shouldn’t underestimate going into the 2023 season:
Keep an eye on … James Outman (16): Between Double-A and Triple-A last season, Outman hit 31 home runs in 125 games, and there should be room for him in the outfield.
Last season, you probably remember him for his first major league at-bat which ended up also being his first major league hit and first major league home run. If that isn’t a glimpse into what he’s capable of doing then I don’t know what is. Clearly, he has the stats to show for it in the minor leagues and I’m a firm believer in the fact that that moment wasn’t just pure luck. Mark my words, James Outman is going to be a star and we’re lucky to have him.
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