4 takeaways from the Dodgers' up-and-down first week of the 2023 season
The rookies came to play
For rookies James Outman and Miguel Vargas, it has been an amazing week. All eyes did not necessarily begin focused on the two young hitters buried deep in a lineup with superstars at the top, but both Outman and Vargas had strong enough weeks to turn some heads. What is even better is that the two have extremely different approaches to hitting.
While Vargas likes to take many pitches, and drew eight walks in his first 13 plate appearances as a result of his keen eye, Outman likes to swing ... a lot. Vargas' patience has allowed him to reach base safely often to start the season, giving him a 1.222 OPS to start the year. Outman's aggressiveness has allowed him to collect three extra-base hits, including an impressive opposite-field home run and two triples, all while posting a 1.260 OPS.
Outman and Vargas were expected to hit near the bottom of the Dodgers' lineup as they got fully adjusted to major-league pitching. However, their hot starts to the season have helped power the Dodgers to a strong 4-2 start with MLB's second-best run differential. Let's all hope their performances keep getting better throughout the season and help the Dodgers to another division title, and maybe even more.