Cody Bellinger took Los Angeles by storm at the end of April. There was a lot of hype about his potential September call-up, and Dodger fans were excited from his first at-bats at Camelback Ranch.
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In what turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the Dodgers, Bellinger was called up on April 25th because of several injuries to the outfield. Bellinger lit a fire in the Dodgers offense and the team never looked back going on impressive streaks of winning 43 of 50 games in June and July. Since Bellinger’s arrival, the Dodgers went on to have the best record in baseball and clinched home-field advantage throughout the postseason.
Bellinger was the second consecutive unanimous Rookie of the Year for the Dodgers and did so by breaking the NL rookie home run record with 39 belibombs. He ended the season leading the Dodgers in home runs (39), RBI (97), runs (87), ISO (.315), and SLUG (.581). He was the most crucial part of the Dodgers run producing.
Outside of his offensive run production, Bellinger played all over the field for the Dodgers. He started his MLB tenure in left field when the Dodgers had some outfield injuries. He took over at first base when Adrian Gonzalez went on the DL for an extended period, and seemingly was never out of the lineup outside of a short DL stint in August. Bellinger played quality defense in the outfield and at first base, proving to be one of the game’s real 5-tool players.
Bellinger is my vote for the Dodgers MVP because he was so crucial to the team’s success. When you factor in that his impact wasn’t expected this season, it only adds to the narrative. Coming into the season we all knew who Bellinger was, the Dodgers top prospect. Fans had hoped to get a glimpse of him in Dodger blue this season. They couldn’t have asked for this type of production.
At only 22-years old, the sky is the limit for Bellinger. Congrats on a fantastic rookie season, Bellinger! Believe me when I tell you, the city of LA is expecting big things from you.