James Outman Broke Dodgers Rookie Record For Most Home Runs In First Month Of Season

James Outman put together an impressive showing during Spring Training to earn a spot on the Los Angeles Dodgers Opening Day roster, and he carried that success into the start of the 2023 regular season.

While steadily earning his way into everyday starts throughout the first month, Outman set a Dodgers rookie record with seven home runs hit in March/April. The mark was previously shared by Alex Guerrero, who hit five homers to begin the 2015 season. Guerrero finished the year with 11 home runs over 106 games.

Prior to Guerrero, Joe Ferguson set the Dodgers rookie record for most home runs in the first month of a season with five to start 1973.

Cody Bellinger holds the Dodgers rookie record for most homers in any month, when he slugged 13 in June 2017.

Outman enters play on Monday leading all qualified rookies in triples (three), home runs, extra-base hits (14), total bases (59), slugging percentage (.615) and on-base plus slugging (.991).

Outman additionally ranks second in total hits (28), RBI (20) and on-base percentage (.376); is tied for third in runs scored (17); and fifth in walks (11) and stolen bases (four).

The 25-year-old recently went through a stretch where he was 0-for-11 with nine strikeouts over three games, which was largely attributed to becoming too closed off in his batting stance.

Dodgers hitting coaches and the team’s research and development staff discovered the minor difference and helped Outman make the correction. He responded by going a combined 3-for-6 with two runs scored and a walk over the final two games of the series with the St. Louis Cardinals.

“The swing, how he was seeing the baseball, all of that,” Roberts said of how Outman had been affected. “It’s kind of a minor thing that you might not see with the eye, but it’s a big thing when you’re talking about millimeters of squaring up the baseball.”

Is James Outman the next Dodgers Rookie of the Year winner?

The Dodgers franchise has 18 Rookie of the Year winners, most in the Majors. Bellinger was their most recent recipient in 2017, but Outman is part of an early race to win the 2023 award.

The Dodgers memorably had five consecutive National League Rookie of the Year winners from 1992-1996 with Eric Karros, Mike Piazza, Raul Mondesi, Hideo Nomo and Todd Hollandsworth. The franchise then went into a drought until Corey Seager won the award in 2016.

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