Skip to main content

Remember April for James Outman?

That stretch at the beginning of the season where the kid from Northern California quickly established himself as the early National League Rookie of the Year favorite and a potential dark horse All Star Game candidate?

That same magic did not happen for the outfielder in May.

Bleacher Report released their monthly MLB Rookie Rankings, and following a torrid start that saw Outman slash .292/.376/.615 and tally seven homers with 20 RBI, his month of May went like this.

“It was only a matter of time before a sky-high strikeout rate caught up to Outman. The April standout hit just .165/.261/.291 with 34 strikeouts in 92 plate appearances in May, and his 34.8 percent strikeout rate overall is the second-worst mark among qualified hitters.”

(via Bleacher Report)

Yeah, it went about the polar opposite of his opening stretch, leading Outman to fall from the top spot in Bleacher Report's rankings all the way to 21st.

A significant liability in Outman's play is his high strikeout rate, and his 34.8 mark definitely won't help matters.

That said, Outman has shown the track record to be a productive hitter in the majors, both at the start of 2023 and his first brief stretch of big league games in 2022, when he slashed .462/.543/.846 over four games to end last season.

Outman still has a significant amount of time to turn his fortunes around, but it'll be intriguing to see how he responds to his first true slump in the MLB.

He has plenty of speed to burn, so he can still contribute defensively and that could also go a long way toward him finding his rhythm at the plate.

Fortunately for his team though, the Dodgers sit tied for first in both the NL West and the entire National League with the Arizona Diamondbacks, so LA won't have to dig out of a hole as Outman tries to rekindle his early season magic.