Over the past 10 years, the Dodgers have sent thirty-six players or managers to the All-Star game. This season alone, six Dodgers have earned the honor and will be representing the ball club at Marlins Park. I will be looking back at all the first half performances of these Dodgers All-Stars and ranking out my top 5. Starting with the Dodgers latest young phenom.
#5 Cody Bellinger (2017)
Scouts all predicted that Bellinger would be called up to the majors in 2017, but no one expected the type of success he has found in the majors to begin his career. Bellinger at only 21 years of age will be headed to Florida as one of six Dodgers All-Star representatives.
Before we even get to his first half numbers, what really impresses me about his early success if the fact that this was truly his first chance at the major leagues. If you recall, prospects like Urias, Seager, and Pederson all got September call-ups the previous season before becoming regular players. Bellinger was different; he made no major league appearances before this season and seized the opportunity.
As of July 8, Bellinger is tied for second in the National League for home runs with 24 with Giancarlo Stanton. The NL leader is Joey Votto with only just one more home run. The amazing part, however, is the fact that Bellinger started in AAA this season and has had over 55 fewer at bats than both Stanton and Votto.
While his average is only at .258, his slugging is a gaudy .613, good for second in the National League. He has provided stability and longevity to the Dodgers lineup, by leading the team in RBI’s with 56, tying him for 14th place in the NL.
The most impressive stat for me regarding Bellinger is his affect on the team success. The Dodgers started off the season very slowly and people were beginning to wonder if this was the year the team would drop off. Since his call up on April 25, 2017, the Dodgers are 50-18. 50-18! While this success cannot all be attributed to his first half performance his power and presence in the cleanup spot as allowed the other Dodgers players to get better pitches to hit.