Dodgers Team News

Dodgers News: MLB Analyst Praises James Outman, ‘One of the Best Defenders in the Game’

James Outman is the future of the Dodgers in centerfield. The 26-year-old rookie is having an amazing season filled with awards, struggle, and perseverance.

Outman burst onto the scene for the Dodgers last year but couldn’t see much time due to Cody Bellinger and more experienced veterans. This year, Outman has solidified himself as the centerfielder of the future for this team.

The baseball world has been put on notice due to Outman’s amazing second half so far at the plate, but his glove is finally being recognized by analysts, too.

According to Baseball Savant, James Outman is in the 93rd percentile in Outs Above Average and 84th in arm strength. This combined with his 90th percentile sprint speed has to led Dodger fans see him run all over the field making diving plays, robbing home runs, and calling off infielders on shallow fly balls.

“A seventh-round pick not too long ago. Takes over in centerfield and he’s one of the best defenders in the game,” DeRosa said. “If you’ve paid attention to Dodger baseball, James Outman has done some things in a big way.”

(via Mark DeRosa, MLB Network)

James Outman had big shoes to fill in the eyes of Dodger fans and he has stepped up to the plate, literally. Hitting .254 with a .794 OPS may not be something to really show off but its what Outman has learned and developed this year which is truly amazing.

Starting off the year, Outman won the National League Rookie of the Month Award for April. In April he hit at a .292 average with a .991 OPS hitting 7 home runs and 20 RBIs. Outman started the year as a platoon bat and earned his way to a starting role for the best team in the National League West.

After his incredible first month, Outman went into a really bad slump. In the next two months, Outman had a combined OPS of just .551. The league was adapting to Outman and figuring out ways to pitch to him.

He needed to change his approach that was no longer working, but he didn’t do that alone. Outman turned to the advice of veterans Mookie Betts and Jason Heyward.

Jason Heyward took Outman under his wing and has been his mentor this year helping the young player develop and change his game.

“He’s kind of been like my mentor this whole season, just helping me with life, like handling the big leagues, handling the day, handling at-bats, keeping me in a good headspace,” Outman said. “We’ll sit on the bench and just talk about like, what pitch we think the guy’s going to throw and just stuff like that. Just kind of, like, thinking through the game. And it’s nice hearing it from somebody that’s been doing it so long.”

(James Outman via SportsNet LA)

Mookie Betts taught the 26-year-old tips in the cage and the mindset of using the bat as a tool.

Outman’s work with the veterans and with the hitting coaches worked. His last two months of baseball have him hitting over .300 with an OPS over .900 OPS

Outman with his re-tooled swing and approach has been a huge addition to the bottom of the order for the Dodgers and a big reason why the Dodgers are 16-2 in August and gearing up for a long postseason run.

Photo Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

We’re giving away an authentic Mookie Betts jersey. All you have to do is subscribe to our YouTube Channel! Subscribe and hit that notification bell to stay up to date on all the latest Dodgers news, rumors, interviews, live streams, and more!

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button