James Outman Finding His Stroke in AAA

James Outman had a breakout rookie year in 2023, but the start to his sophomore season was, well, atrocious. Outman struggled significantly at the start of the 2024 season, leading to his eventual demotion to AAA Oklahoma City. The Dodgers were hesitant to send Outman down, as he has star potential and the move could have hampered his career and risked him never being the same. That fear seems to have been alleviated as Outman’s recent statistics indicate that he may have rediscovered his form, raising speculation about his potential return to the major leagues.

Outman’s Performance in 2024

Before being sent down, Outman faced considerable challenges in the 2024 season with stat lines that were as bad as any Dodger player in recent memory:

  • Games Played (GP): 36
  • At-Bats (AB): 109
  • Runs (R): 10
  • Hits (H): 16
  • Doubles (2B): 4
  • Triples (3B): 0
  • Home Runs (HR): 3
  • RBIs: 10
  • Walks (BB): 13
  • Strikeouts (SO): 40
  • Stolen Bases (SB): 2
  • Batting Average (AVG): .147
  • On-Base Percentage (OBP): .250
  • Slugging Percentage (SLG): .266
  • On-Base Plus Slugging (OPS): .516
  • Wins Above Replacement (WAR): -0.7

These stats were a drastic decline from his successful rookie campaign, where he posted a .248 batting average, 23 home runs, and a 3.3 WAR in 151 games.

Outman’s Performance in AAA

Since being sent down, however, Outman has posted impressive numbers (albeit in just 10 games played):

  • At-Bats (AB): 36
  • Runs (R): 11
  • Hits (H): 14
  • Doubles (2B): 2
  • Home Runs (HR): 3
  • RBIs: 8
  • Stolen Bases (SB): 4
  • Average (AVG): .389
  • On-Base Percentage (OBP): .551
  • Slugging Percentage (SLG): .694
  • On-Base Plus Slugging (OPS): 1.245

These stats showcase a significant improvement, suggesting that Outman has found his stroke and is making a strong case for a recall to the Dodgers’ roster.

Roster Considerations

While Outman’s resurgence is promising, the Dodgers face a roster crunch. Andy Pages has filled in admirably in center field, providing solid defense and contributing offensively. Additionally, the team has several other outfielders that are performing well and that do not have any minor league options available for use, making it a challenging decision for the management. Additionally, even though the club could demote prospect Miguel Vargas or DFA the struggling Chris Taylor, it seems unlikely that having Outman up as a 4th outfielder would make much sense.

Speculation on Return

Given Outman’s performance, it’s likely that he will be on the Dodgers’ radar for a call-up, especially if the team encounters injuries or needs an offensive boost. However, the timing of his return is uncertain due to the current roster composition. The Dodgers’ management will need to weigh the benefits of Outman’s hot bat against the need to maintain a balanced and effective roster.

The Good News…

Is that James Outman’s struggles at the start of 2024 led to a stint in AAA, but his recent performance indicates that he may have regained his form. As he continues to excel in Oklahoma City, the Dodgers will undoubtedly keep a close eye on him, ready to bring him back when the opportunity arises. For now, Outman’s focus remains on sustaining his success and proving that he is ready to contribute at the major league level once again.

Leave a Comment


No comments yet. Why don’t you start the discussion?

Leave a Reply

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