James Outman: 6th in NL ROTY race
Early on this season, Corbin Carroll had a decisive advantage in NL Rookie of the Year odds and was the popular pick for many to win the award. However, James Outman broke out with a ridiculous April, winning NL Rookie of the Month honors with a .292/.376/.615 line and 7 HR and 20 RBI. Unfortunately, Outman regressed in May, batting .165 with a .552 OPS, and followed that up with a June that saw him fail to hit a home run. Reds slugger Spencer Steer took home ROTM in May and Carroll took it home in June. Steer had a .283/.374/.497 line with 13 HRs and 48 RBI at the end of June, while Carroll had a .290/.366/.559 line with 17 HRs and 44 RBI.
At that point in the season, Outman would've needed a ridiculous resurgence to get close to being back in the race with other exciting rookies such as the Reds' Matt McLain and Elly De La Cruz shining after mid-season call-ups, as well as rookies like Mets' Kodai Senga increasingly getting better as the season progressed.
Outman has experienced a resurgence out of nowhere to get back into the race, though. He went 0-4 against Kansas City to bring his OPS down to a season-low .718 mark, but then showed signs of getting back to his April self with a two-homer game against Pittsburgh two days after he hit rock bottom. In 34 games since the All-Star Break, Outman is second in all of the majors in OBP (.485) and his .979 OPS is easily the best among NL rookies.
While Outman's slump in the middle of the year is definitely keeping him closer to the rest of the pack, the one reason he remained in the lineup in May and June is also a major reason he still belongs in this race: defense. Outman leads all rookies with 6 Outs Above Average (OAA), which is tied for 12th in all of MLB, and even puts him ahead of Gold Glovers like Cody Bellinger and Tommy Edman in defensive value (and only behind Carroll) with 3.2 fWAR. Outman also has an advantage over guys like Andrew Abbott and Elly De La Cruz because he has been in the majors for the entire season. Only Steer, Carroll and Senga can counter Outman in terms of traditional counting stats because of their volume, but Outman's overall value, helped tremendously by home-run robberies and his own home runs, still leaves him as a prime candidate in the race.
While I would still place Abbott and Senga's impressive performances on the mound, along with Steer, McLain and Carroll's seasons at the plate above Outman's season so far, if Outman continues on the path he has been on since the All-Star Break, he might post a 20-HR, 20-SB season. If his OPS reaches somewhere around .850 with those defensive numbers furthering his case, Outman could have a late-season surprise comeback to win ROTY. For now, he's in position to get a few down-ballot votes and will remain focused on helping the Dodgers win their division (something none of the other candidates are as likely to do).