Much has been made about Cody Bellinger’ potential centerfield replacement for the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers have been linked to free agents such as Kevin Kiermaier and Mitch Haniger. Trayce Thompson and Chris Taylor have also been listed as options. Even Joey Gallo is a possibility. But there is one Dodgers’ prospect who could end up taking over centerfield duties and emerging as a star next season.

Dodgers fans have been requesting that the team makes prospect James Outman, who homered in his first big league at-bat last year, the everyday centerfielder in 2023. Dodgersway.com even called Outman the next Cody Bellinger. So who is James Outman and what does his ceiling look like?

Is James Outman the next Dodgers’ star?

In 473 2022 minor league at-bats, Outman slashed .294/.392/.586 with a .978 OPS and 31 home runs from the left-side of the plate. He also stole 13 bases for good measure.

Outman tallied 13 at-bats for the Dodgers at the big league level as well, going 6-13 with a home run in limited action. It should be noted that he struck out 7 times during his small MLB sample size.

Nevertheless, the Dodgers are excited about Outman. The 25-year old, who was listed as their No. 13 overall prospect in 2022, is seemingly big league ready. He features an impressive power/speed combo to go along with strong defense. He may not be a Gold Glover, but he’s good enough to get the job done in centerfield.

The one concern is his pure hitting ability. Strikeouts could be an issue for Outman with the Dodgers. As long as he doesn’t punch out on a consistent basis, he should be alright in that regard.

Will James Outman play centerfield in 2023?

Replacing Cody Bellinger is no easy task. The Dodgers may opt to roll with a free agent option with more big league experience. And with prospects such as Diego Cartaya ahead of Outman, his future is fairly unclear.

But it would not be surprising to see Los Angeles implement James Outman in some fashion next season. Even if he doesn’t open 2023 on the big league roster, the Dodgers could call him up later in the season. Although many people believe that the Dodgers buy all of their players, the truth is that this is an organization that excels at developing stars.

And James Outman could be an X-Factor in 2023 if given the opportunity.