The Dodgers are reaping the rewards of developing homegrown talent by getting great production for a fraction of the price with players like Cody Bellinger and Corey Seager.
The Dodgers and Cody Bellinger agreed to a new contract for the 2019 season and he remains a massive bargain for the Dodgers as he will make just $605,000 this season. For us mere mortals that is a hefty annual salary but for an athlete with the talents of Cody Bellinger that is a massive bargain and just a $20,000 raise compared to last season.
Bellinger will get a sizable raise next off-season when he hits arbitration just as Corey Seager is now making four million for the 2019 season. For now, Bellinger remains one of the biggest bargains in the league. Not only can Bellinger play a premium position like center field, he is also versatile enough to play the other two outfield spots as well as his natural position of first base.
While the 2018 season was a down year for Cody’s standards, he still hit twenty-five home runs and posted an OPS over .800. He became the Dodgers’ primary center fielder with the emergence of Max Muncy but in 2019 he will play right field after the signing of AJ Pollock. Although he has not spent a ton of time in right field, Bellinger showed flashes of what he can do there in last year’s NLCS where he made a huge play that helped propel the Dodgers to an extra-inning win over the Brewers.
While he is primarily known for his power, and setting the National League home run record for a rookie, there are other ways that Cody can change a ballgame. He stole fourteen bases last season and has the speed to be a 30-30 guy if he puts an emphasis on stealing bases. While that may be a bit lofty, he can definitely average twenty stolen bases a season and at the minimum be a 20-20 hitter with good defense. Cody also showed off his arm with a game saving throw from center field in the Dodgers’ historic eighteen inning victory in game three of the World Series.
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In 2019, Bellinger should finally get a chance to settle in at one position as long as Pollock and Muncy stay healthy and perform well. That is something that Cody has not had the luxury of having since he has been shifted all across the outfield and first base since his arrival. With fewer positions to worry about, Cody can focus on improving his offensive production and so far this spring he has looked locked in.
Cody is looking to be more consistent in 2019 and hit lefties which is something that did not carry over from his rookie to sophomore season. After falling into a platoon role a season ago, the Dodgers are going to give Cody a shot to play every day this season as long as he can handle facing southpaw pitching.
The 2019 season is a big one for Bellinger who will turn just twenty-four this July. For now, the Dodgers have one of the biggest bargains in the game in Cody Bellinger who has more than just game-changing power. Dodger fans are in for a treat if Cody takes his game to the next level this season and the team will need it if they are going to defy history with a third straight World Series appearance.