James Outman should start the season as the Opening Day center fielder. Let the kid play. I do not care if Trayce Thompson is playing competitive baseball with Great Britain at the World Baseball Classic. What about Jason Heyward? I never said Outman should be the everyday starter.
But spring training is such a small sample size to analyze. He probably needs more time in the minors.
Who cares, give the kid a chance. Outman is 25 years old. He’s proven himself in all levels of the minor league system. During spring, he has only struck out 26% of his at-bats, is currently hitting .391 and has hit two bombs.
As of now, center field belongs to a big question mark. Jason Heyward’s defensive abilities gives him the edge. He has played the majority of the spring training games at center. His experience is top notch but he is currently batting .217.
I’d rather develop the kid. Give Outman enough at-bats to find his rhythm and mature as a major league.
Trayce Thompson is representing Great Britain at center field and batting .231. His defensive skills are average. I see him as a role player. Not saying last year was a fluke but he has to earn the position and as of now, he’s done enough to earn a bench position.
Outman has outmatched the depth. Don’t be afraid to give him the starting position.
Let’s Look At The Potential Starting Lineup
- Mookie Betts RF
- Freddie Freeman 1B
- Will Smith C
- JD Martinez DH
- Max Muncy 3B
- Miguel Rojas SS
- Chris Taylor LF
- James Outman CF
- Miguel Vargas 2B
The top of the lineup is untouchable. Mookie leading off is becoming a Los Angeles tradition that is equivalent to leaving during the 7th inning. Freddie batting after his best friend is one of the best 1-2 punches in the league.
Will Smith is becoming one of the best offensive catchers in the league, only behind JT Realmudo. His batting order insurance is one of the best hitters in the last couple of years. JD’s inclusion in the batting order makes it a scary offense.
Chris Taylor, Max Muncy and Miguel Rojas need to continue their success in the field and grow their OBP.
Ending with James Outman and Miguel Vargas is not just setting up the future of the team, but it puts a slugger like Outman at the back end of the order. Miguel Vargas will slot right into the order as a secondary leadoff man.
Back in 2016-2017, the Dodgers developed two of the biggest rookies that helped the team lift the commissioner’s trophy. Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger took the league by storm. Seager won the World Series MVP and Bellinger took the NL MVP back in 2019.
After coddling Urias, the Dodgers finally let the leeches lose. Since then, Urias has won 20 games and became a Cy Young finalist.
This is what happens when the Dodgers let the kids play. It’s time for Ouman to continue the tradition of Dodgers rookies
Let the kid play. He’s earned it.
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