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James Outman wins National League rookie of the month for April

Los Angeles Dodgers v Chicago Cubs Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

LOS ANGELES — Dodgers outfielder James Outman made his first opening day roster and in his first extended time in the majors won National League rookie of the month honors for April.

Outman in April hit .292/.376/.615 with seven home runs, three triples, four stolen bases, 20 runs batted in, 17 runs scored, and a 164 wRC+. He led all major league rookies in home runs, triples, extra-base hits (14), slugging percentage, and OPS (.991).

He led the National League in RBI, the first Dodgers rookie to drive in 20 runs in a month since Cody Bellinger in September 2017. Bellinger was also the last Dodger to win rookie of the month, doing so in both May and June in 2017.

Dodgers rookie of the month winners

Player Pos Month
Player Pos Month
Kazuhisa Ishii SP Apr 2002
James Loney 1B Sep 2007
Blake DeWitt 2B May 2008
Dee Strange-Gordon SS Sep 2011
Yasiel Puig RF Jun 2013
Alex Guerrero 3B/PH Apr 2015
Corey Seager SS May 2016
Cody Bellinger LF/1B May 2017
Cody Bellinger LF/1B Jun 2017
James Outman CF/LF Apr 2023
Award started in 2001

Outman’s seven home runs were the most-ever by a Dodgers rookie in April, and the most by a Dodgers rookie in any month since teammate Will Smith hit eight home runs in August 2019.

Those home runs included a game-winning grand slam on April 20 at Wrigley Field to cap a two-home run game, then hitting two more home runs in a career-best four-hit game two days later. Outman also homered on opening day in his first game at Dodger Stadium.

Playing both center field and left field, plus one start in right field, Outman’s 232 defensive innings in the season’s first month were second on the Dodgers, behind only Freddie Freeman’s 248 innings. Outman started 26 of 29 games in the month, and manager Dave Roberts gave Outman to play through a slump last week that saw him go 0-for-11 with a strikeout in eight consecutive at-bats.

“It’s been a tough few games for James, but even today he’s coming in fresh and positive, expecting something good to happen,” Roberts said Saturday. “You learn from players once they have a little bit of struggle, but our expectation is that James is going to be just fine.”

Since then, Outman has three hits and three walks in the last three games, with two stolen bases.

Outman is one of nine Los Angeles Dodgers rookies to drive in at least 20 runs in a month, along with Eric Karros (three months in 1992), Frank Howard (twice in 1960), Mike Piazza (twice in 1993), Bellinger (twice in 2017), Willie Davis (May 1961), Billy Grabarkewitz (May 1970), Russell Martin (June 2006), and James Loney (a team rookie record 32 RBI in September 2007).

Outman’s Dodgers teammate Clayton Kershaw won NL pitcher of the month for April.