Dodgers Team News

Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Talks the Maturity of Rookies Miguel Vargas, James Outman

The Dodgers are very lucky to have two rookies contributing early in the 2023 season. James Outman has emerged as arguably the best rookie in baseball through 13 games, slashing .289/.438/.684 with three home runs, 10 RBIs, a league-leading three triples and nine walks.

His rookie counterpart, Miguel Vargas, isn’t exactly putting up the same numbers as Outman, but the thing that’s been most impressive is his league-leading 13 walks. He also has an impressive .475 on-base percentage.

It’s not often you have a rookie come up and have such great plate discipline, and the Dodgers are fortunate enough to have two of them. Ahead of Wednesday’s 10-5 win over the Giants — in which both Vargas and Outman reached base twice — Dodgers manager Dave Roberts spoke highly of his “smart” rookies.

“They’re both smart guys,” Roberts said. “When you’re a smart player, you know that if you swing out of the strike zone, you’re not going to have success. Not saying that guys that chase aren’t smart, but the bottom line is that if you expand, you’re not gonna have success. And sometimes you’ve got to take the walk instead of the 0-for-1, and those guys just really get it, and they understand that.”


Those guys have definitely taken the walk early in the year, and have great OBP’s because of it. And Roberts praised his rookies for the maturity they’ve shown at the plate.

“I think specifically in Vargy’s case, he wasn’t a guy, a high walk guy in the minors,” Roberts said. “So for him to get here, and understand the value of taking the walk when needed, when given — and James has certainly walked a lot higher percentage than he did in the minors — so that’s really good because guys always want to swing the bat, get knocks, but to have the discipline to not chase, it shows a lot of maturity which is something we bet on both those guys coming into the season.”


The Dodgers will continue to rely on both Outman and Vargas all year long, as Vargas is the full-time starting second baseman, while Outman is playing himself out of a platoon and into a full-time outfielder role. And as long as they keep taking walks, they’ll have a successful first season of many for the Boys in Blue.

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Noah Camras

Noah is an Editor for Dodgers Nation. He graduated from USC in 2022 with a B.A. in Journalism and minor in Sports Media Studies. He's been a Dodger fan his whole life, and his all-time favorite Dodgers are Matt Kemp and Russell Martin.

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