Dodgers Team News

Dodgers News: James Outman Explains Adjustments That Led to Second Half Resurgence

Dodgers rookie sensation, James Outman, has changed his mindset this second half and it is showing through his amazing numbers at the plate.

After winning the Rooke of the Month award for the National League in April, the 26-year-old had two very down months right after.

The rookie hit an amazing .289 average with a .966 OPS in April. After winning the award, hits stopped happening and strikeouts started becoming more apparent. Even in his award-winning month, the athletic center fielder still had a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 3:1.

In the two following months, the ratio increased all the way to four strikeouts per walk. The heavy-hitting rookie was swinging at everything and he knew it. Pitchers around the league were adjusting to him while Outman kept the same approach as April.

Now, though, Outman has changed his approach, and it is instantly paying off for him and the Dodgers. He explained what he changed:

“Just being more picky with what I want [at the plate],” Outman said. “In April, I felt like I could hit everything. I was like, ‘That’s a hittable ball. Swing at it.’ Then May rolled around, June rolled around, and I wasn’t feeling as good, but I was still trying to do the same thing.”

(via Jack Harris, The Los Angeles Times)

Discipline was the name of the game for Outman. Even though he can hit whatever pitchers throw at him, he shouldn’t swing at everything he can hit.

The willingness to improve his bat while maintaining and still improving an already above-average glove in centerfield allowed him to turn his season around at the Major League level instead of taking any time in the minors.

The improvement by Outman has skyrocketed him as one of the best batters since the All-Star break.

The Dodgers are currently 66-46 and are pretty much guaranteed a spot in the playoffs, whether or not it is an NL West winning spot or a top Wild Card spot has yet to be solidified. Either way, the Dodgers will need Outman — they will need his great glove and his now great bat to make a long push into October.

Photo Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

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Jacob Zinder

Jacob Zinder is a digital sports journalist that recently graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Growing up in California, Jacob has been a fan of the San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Dodgers for his entire life.

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