Admittedly, being that we generally stay away from posts involving game recaps, I was still a bit torn as to whether to write a story regarding Cody Bellinger‘s monumental evening on Saturday against the Marlins. Furthermore, I thought there would be a small chance that Bellinger would capture his third NL Player of the Week award on Monday, so I figured I’d put something together then, oblivious to the series that Washington’s Anthony Rendon had against the Reds over the weekend. Regardless, I figured it’s about time to give the latest rookie sensation of the Dodgers some well-deserved ink. And considering it’s been awhile since we’ve cited some witty song lyrics, I was even gonna drop a few lines from the 1999 Fatboy Slim hit song, but I decided to save those for a point later in the year when the more prestigious awards began to roll in.
So let’s start with the cycle. From the countless stories across the web, we already know that Bellinger became the first Dodgers rookie to hit for the cycle. He’s the fifth Dodgers player to hit for the cycle since the end of World War II, a list that features two players since the move to Los Angeles — Orlando Hudson and Wes Parker, in addition to a pair of Brooklyn Dodgers legends in Gil Hodges and the great Jackie Robinson. At age 22, Bellinger is the sixth-youngest player to hit for the cycle in the live ball era, and the youngest since 21-year-old Mike Trout in 2013.
Perhaps the most staggering statistic surrounding the Scottsdale native is the fact the Dodgers have posted a 55-18 record in games which Bellinger has appeared. Prior to his arrival on April 25, Los Angeles had a record of 9-11, and was in third place in the West, trailing the Rockies by 3-1/2 games and the Diamondbacks by five. At the present moment, the Dodgers lead second-place Arizona by a whopping 10-1/2 games. The Dodgers have now won 29 of their past 33 games. The last time they did that, according to ESPN Stats and Info, was in the year 1899.
Entering Tuesday evening’s game against the White Sox, Bellinger’s slash line is .268/.348/.632, alongside 26 long balls, 61 RBI, 52 runs scored, 34 walks, 16 doubles, two triples and five stolen bases. His slugging percentage is best in the National League, and his 26 home runs are tied for second. He also has six multi-home run games to his credit.
Needless to say, at his current rate of production, Bellinger won’t only be a cinch for the NL Rookie of the Year, but he’ll probably lead the conversation for the National League MVP.
Yet perhaps most impressive of all is the fact that he’s humble, and puts the team before himself while handling his baseball stardom with a very professional attitude.
“The great thing about Cody is, he doesn’t get too far out of each moment,” skipper Dave Roberts said about the youngster. “At the end of this season, it’ll be great for him to look back at what he accomplished and what we accomplished as a team. Cody just has really good perspective on things. It’s a wave that he’s never been on, but he’s enjoying the ride.”
Before the 2017 campaign began, very few familiar with the club anticipated Bellinger’s arrival to the big leagues to happen so soon. And once he did arrive, very few expected him to stay for an extended period of time. From the moment he first stepped onto the field, it’s certainly been a wild ride full of surprises, joy and exhilaration. Whether it was a group decision, or a recommendation by one particular member of the Los Angeles management crew, the choice of bringing up Bellinger to the bigs in April was no doubt the team’s turning point of the year.
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