James Outman refuses to slow down in a Dodger uniform

Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
More headlines come with each day that passes for the rookie.

Ever since James Outman made his major league debut last season, he has put up some of the best numbers on the planet. He dominated a four game stretch, was the best hitter in the minor leagues from that point on, and has set himself apart from a strong rookie class in 2023.

Entering spring training, it seemed most likely that Outman would be starting the year in Triple-A. The Dodgers already had a crowded outfield, and it would have made since for Outman to head to the minors and get everyday at-bats. However, when a spot opened up following Gavin Lux’s unfortunate injury, James Outman played so well that the Dodgers had no choice but to keep him in the majors.

There has yet to be an opportunity that Outman has not capitalized on as a big leaguer. On Thursday, the 25-year-old completed his first two-homer game with a go-ahead grand slam in the ninth inning. It was Outman’s first career grand slam and arguably the biggest swing of the Dodgers season so far.

He did not let that be the only highlight of the weekend, however. In Saturday morning’s game, he tallied his first career four-hit day and smacked another two home runs. He had 10 total bases and four RBI in the win.

Outman’s home run total now stands a seven, which is a Dodgers rookie record between March and April. There are still another seven games this month for Outman to increase that record, which seems likely at his current pace.

Outman is the front runner in essentially every rookie category. He ranks first in AVG, OPS, hits, triples, homers, runs, and RBI, being the obvious leader in the early rookie of the year race. Furthermore, not only do his numbers trounce other rookies, but they are among the best in all of the major leagues.

Following his four homers so far in the Cubs series, Outman’s 1.121 OPS is second best in baseball, just ahead of teammate Max Muncy. His three triples and .714 SLG both go for second best as well. Outman’s dominance is putting his name in conversations with the best players on Earth.

This season has been a struggle for the Dodgers, who are an even 11-11 nearly a month into the campaign. Without Outman’s heroics, they would be in an even worse position, possibly multiple games below .500. The rookie outfielder’s contributions have been massive, and will continue to play a big role as the rest of the season unfolds.

“We were asked about him several times before the season started, and I think every one of us gave the same answer: this guy’s going to be a star for us. And he’s proven that so far,” Max Muncy said after the game.