Dodgers Team News

Dodgers News: James Outman Working to Improve Play in Center Field

The rise of outfielder James Outman has been one of the cooler storylines for the Dodgers this season. He was a big reason as to why LA got off to such a hot start this year and his growth as a player has been fun to watch. However since his great start, Outman’s season has been a little bit up and down. But the young player isn’t letting it discourage him and he continues to push through. 

One main area of focus for him has been his defense out in center field. He has been working with manager Dave Roberts pregame to improve his performance. Roberts said that Outman has “a lot of room for improvement” and that he wants him to focus on how he approaches going after balls that are hit into play.

Outman’s defense in center field is rated as a plus but there is still plenty of work to do to make him even more reliable. But the fact that Roberts has taken time out to work with him shows that the veteran manager sees something in the young outfielder.

“I just wanted him to think differently in center field, as far as getting different reads and I wanted to hear his thoughts on how he goes about playing center field,” Roberts said. “I’ve seen enough of a sample, and it was good for me to get James and Clayton (McCullough) to talk through some things.”

Per The OC Register

On the year, Outman has hit .236 with 11 home runs and 40 runs batted in at the plate. His offense has come along nicely despite the dip in percentage as the year as gone on. He still remains aggressive at the plate and even had a two home run game this week.

This is his first full year in the major leagues so there will be growing pains but the rookie has shown a ton of promise. Obviously, there are places that he can continue to grow his game but that’s the fun in it for him. It’s all about the process for a player like Outman as he continues to gain more experience playing on the biggest stage.

He has been and will likely continue to be a major piece to this team this season and if he can keep improving, he could be a main piece going forward.

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Matt Levine

Matt earned a Master of Science degree in Sport Management from Louisiana State University in 2021. He was born and raised in the Los Angeles area, growing up a huge fan of the Dodgers and Lakers. Matt Kemp was his favorite Dodgers player growing up.

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