Dodgers Team News

Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Praises James Outman, ‘You Wouldn’t Know He’s a Rookie’

As he continues to improve after a slow start that is to be expected from a first-year player, James Outman has impressed manager Dave Roberts so much that he no longer considers him a rookie.

“I think for me, since the break, you wouldn’t know he’s a rookie and I think right now, it’s almost to that point where he’s passed that rookie status for me, like, he’s just another Major League Baseball player,” Roberts said in late July.

(Via SportsNet LA)

In July, Outman batted .309/.434/.471 and hit three home runs. In his last five games, he’s batting .471 and is coming off a 4-for-4 game on Monday in which he reached base in all five plate appearances.

The 26-year-old has become a consistent member of the Dodgers’ starting lineup, and Roberts praised Outman’s ability to overcome a May and June in which he underperformed.

“Very impressed with his ability to weather a storm. It was tough sledding there for a while for James,” Roberts said. “But as we’ve talked many times, you bet on the maturity, the age, the head. And he didn’t waver in his preparation. … Just kind of being able to manage at-bats.”

(Via SportsNet LA)

Outman had a strong start to the season, earning National League Rookie of the Month honors in April after holding a .289 batting average, .966 OPS and hitting 6 home runs. He tapered off in May, hitting just .165 and seeing a big dip in his slugging percentage. Outman was a more reliable hitter in June, but still struggled to find power in his swing.

Roberts revealed that Mookie Betts was a helpful voice as Outman tried to shake off his slump.

In addition to becoming a consistent hitter, Outman is a reliable defender and is athletic, as seen in his many home run robberies, most recently against Fernando Tatis Jr. of the San Diego Padres.

It’s not uncommon for rookies to go through first-year struggles, but the best players are the ones who can work through them and continue to have a strong season. For the Dodgers, Outman has done just that.

Photo Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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Patrick Warren

Patrick Warren is a recent graduate of the University of Southern California who works to cover the Los Angeles Dodgers with Dodgers Nation. Warren is originally from Chattanooga, TN and is currently based out of Buffalo, NY.

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