In almost every trade scenario for the Los Angeles Dodgers over the past two years, Cody Bellinger‘s name has been brought up as a potential player the other team coveted. The Dodgers always said no, he’s non-negotiable. That insistence to keep him has paid off. Monday, Cody Bellinger has been named the Jackie Robinson NL Rookie of the Year for the 2017 season. He becomes the 18th Rookie of the Year in the Dodgers organization.
Cody was brought up from Triple-A Oklahoma City on April 25, as the veteran first baseman Adrian Gonzalez made his first trip to the disabled list. He never went back to OKC again.
The previous record for first year players hitting more than 20 homers in a season was six. This season saw 10 rookies smash 20 home runs or more, and Cody was tops in the National League with 39, a National League and Dodgers record for a rookie. He followed fellow teammates Joc Pederson and Corey Seager as a rookie to be chosen to take part in the Home Run Derby in the All-Star Game, where he took down divisional opponent Charlie Blackmon 15-14 in the first round, and fell to the eventual champ and fellow 2017 Rookie of the Year Aaron Judge 13-12.
In addition to all those home runs, 2017 also saw the 22-year-old first baseman knock in 97 RBI, steal 10 bags, and hit for the cycle. He finished the season with a .267/.352/.581/.933 slash line, 26 doubles, four triples and 64 bases on balls.
Bellinger played mostly at first base, with some right, center and left field assignments thrown in. Next year he could be in center, depending on the health of Adrian Gonzalez. But for now, we celebrate the year that was for Cody Bellinger, a record breaking rookie season.
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