Dodgers Coach Talks About the Incredible Growth of James Outman
So far, so great for James Outman. The rookie outfielder forced his way onto the opening day roster and has rewarded the team’s faith in him with a breakout campaign so far.
It’s been an interesting ride for the seventh round pick out of Cal State Sacramento in the 2018 draft. Dodgers first base coach Clayton McCullough talked about the growth of the 25-year-old outfielder and praised his dedication to getting better.
“I couldn’t be happier (for him). I remember when James signed out of Sac State and came into our system. It hasn’t always been the easiest road for James, but the one thing he’s always done is like, he’s had a goal in mind and been driven about being able to perform at this level. So whether it was swing adjustments, approach adjustments, James has always been open to not only organizational feedback. But when he was on his own in 2020 during the pandemic, he did so much work on his own and went out of his way to go get the necessary work in. And it’s paid off. I mean, you couldn’t be happy for someone, knowing where he was and to now how he’s continued to evolve and the performance has been lights out.”Via SportsNet LA
Since that 2020 season, which had the minor league season wiped out by the pandemic, Outman has just kept getting better and better. In 2021 at High-A and Double-A, he posted a .869 OPS. In 2022 between Double-A and Triple-A that jumped to .978. And so far as a big leaguer, his OPS is north of 1.000.
He spoke with DodgersNation.com this offseason about his first taste of the big leagues making him want it even more.
“Coming back to Triple-A, I felt like I had 10 more months of playing time under my belt just in those six days being around all those guys that are really, really good and the bar was raised (for me). I felt like I was holding myself to a higher standard after that point. I do think that getting a little taste is good. Just so I kind of know what I’m working with.”
He showed it during the spring and is showing it so far this year. James Outman appears to be the real deal.