Dodgers: Which Surprise Players Are Legit

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Apr 5, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA: Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy during batting practice before a MLB baseball game against the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 5, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA: Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy during batting practice before a MLB baseball game against the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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May 21, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder Cody Bellinger (35) advances to third in the first inning against the Miami Marlins at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

Cody Bellinger

All aboard the Bellinger hype train. Cody Bellinger has done nothing but impress since his arrival in April. He’s hit a jaw-dropping 22 home runs in just 5o+ games, averaging a dinger every nine at bats. That’s not a typo, you don’t need reading glasses (maybe you do, I don’t know you) and your computer isn’t bugging out. A home run every NINE at bats!

If he manages to get even 80 more games in this year at that pace, that’s ANOTHER 35 home runs. Imagine a rookie hitting 40+ home runs and driving in 120+ RBI. Those are video games numbers. Actually those are video game numbers with cheat codes on. It’s not even fair to opposing pitchers at this point. Usually when you have a power hitting left handed hitter with a long swing, he isn’t going to have great success against left handed pitching. And I really think that is the difference maker for Bellinger, who is hitting .267 with 5 long balls against lefties.

Eventually, pitchers will figure out how to handle the young first baseman. Everyone adjusts, and he will need to as well. But he has met every challenge this year, learning to shorten his swing on those pitchers that felt he couldn’t handle the inside heat. His average exit velocity on balls in play is almost 93 mph, good for 18th highest of all qualified players. To give you a comparison, he sits just barely below Paul Goldschmidt on the list.

Conclusion: Legit Boom. SO much Boom. 

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