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James Outman having a scalding start to his season

Colorado Rockies v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Dodgers have already seen huge dividends pay off by relying on their younger players to step up in key situations, and nobody has stepped up to the plate— both literally and figuratively— more than outfielder James Outman.

When Outman was called up for a brief cup of coffee last season, he put up ridiculous numbers, including a .462 batting average and an OPS+ making him 184 percent better than the average major league hitter. Nobody could’ve predicted, not even Outman himself, that he would be able to ride that meteoric rise into the next season.

After a torrid spring which catapulted his stock within the team, Outman was named to the opening day roster for the first time in his career. It has been an opportunity that he has gripped tightly. So far, the batting average has fallen a bit, currently batting .286, yet he still possesses the ability to get on base nearly half the time (.474 OBP) with a monstrous 1.260 OPS.

The sample size has been minuscule— just 35 official at bats in 10 games of play so far in his big league career. The Dodgers have been convinced that he is a key part of their lineup, as Matt Borelli of Dodger Blue notes that Jason Heyward has been fond of Outman’s production, especially his two-triple game in Monday’s win over the Rockies:

“To me, one thing that stands out about Outman, one of his triples, he was just up there with the intent of getting the guy over. He ends up hitting a triple, I think couple RBIs out of that. That was really nice for us and for him just trying to play the game the right away.”