The first player I did an email interview with was in 2018 with James Outman. This was after he was a 7th round draft pick out of Sacramento State and had made his professional debut with the Ogden Raptors. I’ve been tracking his career pretty closely since then. Now, we get the news that he has been promoted to the Los Angeles Dodgers!
Dodgers are calling up James Outman to take Zach McKinstry's spot on the active roster, source tells The Athletic.
— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) July 30, 2022
What stands out with Outman, externally, is his athletic ability. He shows it off on defense quite a bit.
If you hit it toward a guy named James Outman, you can't be surprised when this happens. pic.twitter.com/9UQnMU7jku
— Oklahoma City Dodgers (@okc_dodgers) July 30, 2022
— Dodger Poke Report (@dodger_poke) July 15, 2022
— The Welsh (@IsItTheWelsh) November 14, 2021
From my interview with him in 2018, offense was a struggle for Outman.
Apart from the mental adjustments, I was forced to make some physical adjustments early on. I struggled pretty bad early on going 0 for my first 23. Our hitting coaches in Ogden, Dustin Kelly and Cordell Hipolito helped me a lot with my direction and making myself more in line to hit the baseball.
I attest a lot of my improvements to my hitting coaches, teaching me about mechanics and helping me with my approach. It was frustrating at first, putting myself in a hole, but as soon as I relaxed and learned myself as a ball player, I saw improvements. – James Outman in 2018
2019 was pretty rough on him offensively. Then came losing the whole 2020 season. It was in 2021 when things really started to click. In 2021 Spring Training he started to really show his potential on the offensive side of the game. His numbers from 2021 and 2022 (so far):
- 2021 – 410 AB, 21 2B, 18 HR, .266 AVG, .379 OBP, .490 SLG
- 2022 – 341 AB, 20 2B, 21 HR, .279 AVG, .381 OBP, .534 SLG
I remember talking about Outman a few years ago with someone in the organization and they were very impressed with his willingness to learn and adjust. It took a while, but it is paying off. There is a lot of natural power because of his athletic ability so he hits some serious bombs. The home runs are a bit more frequent because he continues to improve as a hitter.
— Dodgers Player Development (@DodgerPlayerDev) March 27, 2021
James Outman's 5th homer landed in a seating area called "The Summit", above the batter's eye in CF, before bouncing back onto the field. Fort Wayne's pxp team:
"We're sticking with the story that only Tatis has hit one up there"
Even in A+, Padres can't give Dodgers credit 😂 pic.twitter.com/dsWDRA7NvP
— Josh Thomas (@jokeylocomotive) July 4, 2021
Effort, Attitude and Teachability
There are many great athletes that do not come close to reaching their potential for many reasons. Some of them miss out on putting forth the proper effort, have the right attitude and are teachable. From what I’ve witnessed and heard about Outman, he thrives with each of those characteristics. The Dodgers are always on the lookout for players that are willing to go the extra mile and value character in their prospects. One thing I witnessed with Outman was going above and beyond to with the fans during Spring Training. He is the type of player the Dodgers value.
Former Dodgers GM Ned Colletti and veteran broadcaster Tim Neverett talking about batter James Outman and his development in the Dodgers system. They mention my dear friend, John Shoemaker. Have to share.
Shoe and I opened Camelback Ranch in 2009. Fast friends. Great man. pic.twitter.com/6zKfaBY6aC
— Kim C (@Cu_As) March 4, 2021
Congratulations to James Outman. It has been great to see his progress and to see the results of everything he has done.