MLB’s Rookie Rankings Curiously Have Top Newcomer James Outman Of Dodgers Outside Its Top 5

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The 2023 MLB rookie class has already shown star potential.

Corbin Carroll from the Arizona Diamondbacks has helped propel his team into surprising early contention. Hunter Brown has continued the Houston Astros‘ track record of developing quality starting pitchers.

Several other players have made their debut in MLB this season, including Brett Baty of the New York Mets and Japanese baseball import Kodai Senga.

Touted Anthony Volpe of the New York Yankees has also taken over as the team’s starting shortstop. The Los Angeles Dodgers also committed to a youth movement, handing the second base job to Miguel Vargas.

The Dodgers also have another rookie who’s taken the league by storm, leading to early Rookie of the Year discussion.

MLB’s official Twitter account posted its rookie power rankings Tuesday and had some recognizable names up top.

There’s just one problem; the early favorite for NL Rookie of the Year, the player leading the league in nearly every offensive category for rookies, was ranked 8th.

What now?

MLB rookie of the year candidate James Outman
LOS ANGELES, CA – APRIL 29: Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder James Outman (33) makes a diving catch in the third inning during a regular season game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers on April 29, 2023 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

James Outman Leads MLB Rookies, Ranked 8th Somehow

James Outman has been one of MLB’s most valuable players to start 2023, regardless of experience.

Since being named to the Dodgers roster, Outman’s been about as good as anyone in the league. The list of his accomplishments so far is undeniably impressive, meriting ROY discussion.

  • 1.5 WAR, per Fangraphs, tied for 5th overall in MLB and first among rookies
  • 160 wRC+, meaning he’s been 60% better than the average hitter in MLB, also first among rookies
  • .973 OPS, first among rookies
  • Top 20 ranking in defensive value among all MLB players
  • 7 home runs, tied for first among rookies
  • 18 runs and 20 runs batted in, tied for second and all alone in second among rookies
  • Highest offensive runs value for any rookie in MLB

And he’s ranked 8th by MLB among rookies.

In the league’s defense, Corbin Carroll has also been excellent, as has Hunter Brown.

But Gunnar Henderson is hitting .189 and has just two home runs, contributing to a below average offensive statline.

Brett Baty has been outstanding, but he’s played in just 12 games.

Senga meanwhile, who’s already 30-years-old, has a 0.0 Fangraphs WAR through five starts.

All three rank above Outman, according to MLB.

With around 130 games remaining for most teams, there’s plenty of time for the other rookies on the list to perform to expectations.

But based on performance to this point in the season, it’s bizarre to see the early favorite ranked 8th. Behind players who’ve played in less than half their team’s games.

Outman’s been a star to start his career, and were the season to end today, would likely receive MVP votes. Now he just needs to get the respect his performance deserves.

Written by Ian Miller

Ian Miller is a former award watching high school actor, author, and long suffering Dodgers fan. He spends most of his time golfing, traveling, reading about World War I history, and trying to get the remote back from his dog. Follow him on Twitter @ianmSC

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