A week before Opening Day, manager Dave Roberts confirmed that one of the Dodgers’ top prospects, James Outman, will make the team’s roster out of camp. With the 25-year-old slated to travel west next week, let’s take a look at Outman’s fantastic 2022 campaign and how he fits into the Dodgers organization this year.
A Look at Outman
A seventh-round pick by the Dodgers in 2018, outfielder James Outman has been one of the Minors’ best power hitters over the past two seasons. Outman hit 40 home runs between 2021-22, 31 of which came in a monstrous 2022 campaign that saw the 25-year-old make his MLB debut in late July.
Between Tulsa (AA) and Oklahoma City (AAA), Outman hit .294/.392/.586 with 31 home runs and 106 RBIs. The 25-year-old also stole 13 bags along the way. And as mentioned previously, Outman did accrue 13 at-bats with the Dodgers. The outfielder went 6-13 with a home run and three runs batted in.
A strong outfielder with good power, above-average speed, and good plate discipline, Outman showed that he didn’t have much to prove in the Minors in 2022. But, can he become a regular in a crowed group of outfielders in Los Angeles.
What it Means
A career .263 hitter in the Minors, arguably the biggest question surrounding Outman is how much he can make contact in the Majors. Just from his Minor League numbers, it’s not hard to figure that the 25-year-old possesses above-average pop. But, can Outman, who owns a career MiLB K% rate north of 25%, handle the stuff of MLB pitchers? Evaluators have questioned his hit tool in the past, but time will tell whether those fears become realized.
As things stand right now, Outman will join an outfield that is set to include Mookie Betts, Trayce Thompson, Chris Taylor, David Peralta, and Jason Heyward. Manager Dave Roberts confirmed that Heyward would make the team’s Opening Day roster after he signed a Minor League deal with the Dodgers this past winter. Betts, Taylor, and Thompson, and figure to be everyday players, although the latter two offer versatility in the infield. Given the options that Roberts has at his disposal, Los Angeles could get creative with its lineups.