Dodgers: Cody Bellinger Wins 2017 Rookie of the Year Award
It’s official, Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger has won the 2018 Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award for the National League.
Bellinger is the second consecutive Dodger to win the award, following up Corey Seager’s impressive rookie campaign last season. Cody beat out Josh Bell and Paul DeJong by a unanimous decision by IBWAA voters. Bellinger received all 30 first-place votes marking the second straight year the Dodgers have the unanimous Rookie of the Year.
Bellinger was miles ahead of every other rookie in the NL. The only question was whether he’s win by unanimous decision. This season, Bellinger set the NL record for home runs by a rookie with 39 despite only playing in 132 games. His 39 home runs were the third-most hit by a player 21-years old or younger.
Bellinger led the Dodgers in home runs (39), RBI (97), and runs scored (87). He had a slash line of .267/.352/.581 with ten stolen bases. Bellinger led all NL rookies in runs scored (87), doubles (26), slugging percentage (.581), OPS (.933), and rWAR (4.2).
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The Dodgers are the franchise with the most Rookies of the Year winners with 18 total award winners. The organization has now won the award in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1995 (Hideo Nomo), and 1996 (Todd Hollandsworth) capped off a streak of five straight winners.
Cody Bellinger had a memorable season. Dodger fans forget, but Bellinger was not part of the Dodgers plans this season, or at least not in April. Bellinger did not make the opening day roster due to a lackluster spring training and was called up when the Dodgers received an abundance of injuries in the first month of the season.
Big injuries to Andrew Toles and Adrian Gonzalez forced Dave Roberts’ hand, and Bellinger’s play didn’t give them any reason to send him back down. The initial plan was for Bellinger to join the big league team as a September call-up. But injuries led to an early opportunity for Cody, and he did not look back.
Bellinger was a spark plug to a team that was struggling out of the gate, before Bellinger’s arrival, the Dodgers were 9-11. The Dodgers were 28-5 in games when he hit a home run. Bellinger gave the Dodgers a big boost not only with his power but with his ability to play all over the field. Bellinger started 83 games at first base and 42 games in the outfield, including 39 in left field and three in center and right.
Cody Bellinger was perhaps the biggest surprise of the season for the Dodgers. Had he not been called up in April, the Dodgers are highly unlikely to challenge the single-season win total and end up as the number 1 seed.
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The front office knew that Bellinger was talented, which is why they choose to hold onto him in past deadlines. Bellinger is making the front office look like geniuses, and I can’t wait to continue to see him develop as a player. Cody is a Gold Glove-caliber defender and has the power to put up MVP type numbers.
Congrats on a fantastic season, Belly!