Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers have had somewhat of a youth movement this season, with rookies James Outman and Miguel Vargas taking on everyday roles, and Michael Busch recently joining the team from Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Outman in particular got off to a strong start and was named the National League Rookie of the Month for April. Despite a brief slump, he and Busch played a big part in the Dodgers’ comeback win over the San Diego Padres in the series finale at Petco Park.
Outman, who rose through the Dodgers’ farm system with Busch and Vargas, has enjoyed playing with them at the Major League level, as seen on SportsNet LA:
“It’s fun. We played pretty much at every level together, so it’s fun to see us doing it on this stage. We’re all rooting for each other, obviously. It’s really cool. Like, say I didn’t get the job done, and Vargy is hitting right behind me and he hits a double or something. It feels like the Minor Leagues again. That’s what it felt like a couple years ago and last year.”
Outman was given an opportunity for regular playing time this year following the Dodgers’ decision to non-tender Cody Bellinger during the offseason. He has appeared at all three outfield positions and is sporting a .909 on-base plus slugging percentage through 41 games.
Vargas also benefitted with the Dodgers not re-signing Justin Turner or Trea Turner, and made the bulk of his starts at second base. Vargas has left some to be desired in terms of batting average, but continues to reach base at an above-league average clip.
Busch was promoted to the Dodgers last month when Max Muncy went on paternity leave and remained with the team due to J.D. Martinez needing a stint on the 10-day injured list because of lower back discomfort. Busch was optioned back to OKC on May 12.
Busch largely struggled at the plate, but like Vargas, reached base with some frequency.
Dodgers Rookie of the Year winners
In addition to being named NL Rookie of the Month for April, Outman set a Dodgers rookie record for most home runs hit during a player’s first month of the season (seven).
The Dodgers franchise has an MLB-best 18 Rookie of the Year winners, and Outman would give them 19 if he is able to continue his excellent play and take home the hardware.
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!