Long-time coach Dino Ebel doesn’t see many differences in comparing Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger to superstar Mike Trout.
Third base coach Dino Ebel has had the luxury to coach both Mike Trout and Cody Bellinger over the past several seasons. Before joining the Los Angeles Dodgers staff in 2018, Ebel spent 13 years with their freeway counterparts in Anaheim.
Ebel was asked to highlight the differences between the two MVP winners, Trout and Bellinger, and he noted there isn’t much to separate the two, they are both so great at their crafts.
“I was asked the question last year, ‘What’s the difference between Bellinger and Trout-y?’ And there’s not too much room there,” Ebel said on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight podcast released on Tuesday. “Bellinger is a superstar, he’s got all the tools. He can run, he can throw, he’s got the power, he hits for average.”
Bellinger is coming off his best season in the majors, winning the 2019 National League MVP award after posting impressive numbers at the plate. He smashed 47 home runs last season, while hitting a steady .305/.406/.629, and stealing 15 bases.
Bellinger also won his first Gold Glove Award, a rare achievement that alludes Trout.
Ebel talked about Trout carrying a “chip on his shoulder” for not having won a Gold Glove. The former Angels coach helped Trout improve his first step in the outfield using advanced defensive metrics to highlight the weakness in his game.
Like Trout, Ebel says Bellinger is open to trying new things and does whatever it takes to get better on the field.
“Cody is another guy who has great work habits,” Ebel said. “He comes to the park everyday, day-in and day-out, wants to get better.”
The former Dodgers minor league player was impressed with how quickly Bellinger picked up playing first base in the majors, on top of working to become a Gold Glove outfielder.
“What an athlete, what a tools player, fun to be around,” Ebel said. “I’m telling you, it’s no surprise in the baseball world, this guy is going to be a superstar.”
Ebel came up in the Dodgers system as a player, winning Rookie-level Gulf Coast League (GCL) Player of the Year in 1988. Ebel never made it to the major leagues, maxing out in Class-A Advanced ball in 1994, where he served as a player-coach for the Bakersfield Dodgers in the California League.
Ebel has spent his entire career working for Southern California teams. After serving as a player and minor league manager over 17 seasons with the Dodgers, he joined the Angels to coach their Pacific Coast League team in 2005, before becoming third base coach when Joe Maddon became the manager of the Rays in 2006. Ebel returned to the Dodgers in his current role after the 2018 season.
While Cody Bellinger still has plenty of work to do to reach Mike Trout’s stature in the game, the fact he is even in the conversation as a possible superstar on that level is fun to think about.