Cody Bellinger’s 2019 Sample Size Is Growing Quite Large, Folks

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(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

When Cody Bellinger was leading the world in offense just 20 games into the season, many well-versed fans of the Dodgers knew there was little chance those types of numbers would hold up through the entirety of the 23-year-old’s 2019 campaign.

Yet, now that the 54-game mark has come—one-third of the way through the regular season—Bellinger’s pace has held relatively steady, and any fan who follows baseball even remotely is wondering how long the Los Angeles superstar can maintain his current rate of production.

It’s tough to dig up new statistics about the Scottsdale native that haven’t already been published. Entering Tuesday’s games, he’s leading the entire majors—not just the National League—with a .383 batting average, a .469 OBP, a .761 slugging percentage, a 1.229 OPS, a 222 OPS+, 143 total bases, 48 runs, 72 hits and 49 RBI.

If that isn’t enough, his 19 long balls are second in the NL to Christian Yelich‘s 21.

It’s hard to break down the exact recipe that is credited for Bellinger’s new found terror at the plate, but what we do know is that he’s making more contact. Last year, he struck out 154 times, which was second on the team to Chris Taylor‘s 178. This season, he has punched out only 31 times—sixth on the team—putting him on pace to strike out less than 100 times in a season for the first time in his career.

Speaking of paces, if his power stroke holds true, his current rate will see him surpass the 39 home runs, 26 doubles and 97 RBI that were key is sealing the 2017 National League Rookie of the Year Award.

At the beginning of the year, Bellinger’s odds of winning the NL MVP Award were more than 25 to 1 on most betting sites. At this juncture of the season, some outlets have his odds at about 5 to 1.

For those of you who appreciate WAR, after registering marks of 4.2 in each of his first two campaigns, his pace this season is monumental. Thanks to J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group, we learned that Belli racked up 0.3 points of WAR in Monday’s game against the Mets, giving him a 5.2 mark already this year.

On top of everything else, the caliber of defense that Bellinger is playing in right field is beyond fantastic. As the season progresses, he’s been seeing less and less time at first base, which makes sense, because his performance in right is much more valuable to the club.

Aside from his outstanding range, here’s a sample of the strength and accuracy of his arm, causing some fans to forget about the guy who held down the right-field fort for the Dodgers so many years prior.

Also, in Monday’s game, Bellinger became the first Dodger player to record a home run and multiple outfield assists since Gary Sheffield in 1998. What’s more, there was this tidbit that put Cody in the record books with Babe Ruth.

Of course, to think that Bellinger will be able to maintain this rate of production through 162 games is absurd. However, many of us thought his pace would suffer tremendously once he cooled off offensively after opposing pitchers “figured out” his new approach at the plate.

Needless to say, he’s still sizzling 55 games into the season.

 

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22 thoughts on “Cody Bellinger’s 2019 Sample Size Is Growing Quite Large, Folks

  1. Most of the team seems to have left behind that all or nothing approach from last year especially Belly. Props to Van Scoyoc!

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  2. I’m not surprised by the outfield play. He’s the fastest guy on the team and showed us arm last year. I am surprised by the level of success at the plate. I also don’t believe it’s sustainable. Every hitter slumps. It’s such a long season. I expect him to slow down some by mid summer.

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  3. I expect, I am not, I also, I am, Who are you to think WE wanna hear I, i, i, . george said it best ‘I me,me mine.’ Learn something and leave yourself behind!

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    1. Sure there is Rich:

      “I have suffered for this book; now it’s your turn”

      Hill with 2 earned in 6, the pen with 3 earned, and an error, in 1. This might keep us from winning 100 games.

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  4. To hell with the draft pick and the luxury tax Friedman has to get Kimbrel to LA or else this bullpen is screwed. I know he doesn’t want to give up the draft pick but if you trade for a reliever you are still giving up a few prime prospects. Just do it and get it over with. I can’t stand watching that dumpster fire of a bullpen any longer.

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    1. Kimbrel would be great. But is he a fit here? He wants to close and he wants closer money. I think the Dodgers, with a huge lead in the Division, are more likely to stay in house – or dumpster dive again.

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  5. Anyway Kimberly is on the downside of his career. Who says he’d do any better than Kelly. There’s a reason Sox didn’t want either one of these guys

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    1. Braves seemed to be more interested in his services than most other teams which would make sense since they are chasing the Phillies. Kuechel on the other hand has at least 6 suitors according to most reports.

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  6. AF has come up big at the trade deadline every year so let’s give him some slack. It’s pretty obvious what needs to be done this year. I trust he’ll get it done

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  7. Rumor floating that Ol Andy might be talking to his buddy Farhan about a reliever. Just a rumor at this point. Can Cody keep up the pace? Hard to do in a 162 game season. Some have, but they were veteran players. He is still basically a kid. His approach and swing to this point have been very consistent. He is no longer chasing those back foot sliders in the dirt. Look back over the last 30 years and you rarely see a Dodger leading the batting race late in the season. A couple of years ago, Turner was in the hunt but faded at the end and finished 2nd. The Gas Can Gang blew another one. Their record over the last 19 innings plus is so bad it should not be repeated…at least Kelly did not give up a run……a huge step for him.

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  8. Relief problem no limited to the Dodgers. All you need to do is read MLB trade rumors or the transaction page on MLB.com. Unreal amount of movement with pitchers this year. Especially teams like the Yankees and Pirates who are approaching record amount of players placed on the IL. Yanks went back to back on the Pad’s ace, Paddack this morning. Kid is showing cracks in his armor. All Star voting now going on. You can click on the vote at MLB.com and it redirects you to Google where the new way to vote is taking place. Actually a lot easier to get your vote in this year. I just submitted all of my entries for today…No, I do not just vote for the boys in blue. I believe in giving credit where it is due, so only Cody and Turner got my vote. I know Arenado will most likely be the starter, but in this case I had to go with JT based simply on the impact having him in the lineup has.

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  9. Stro’s lose Correia for 4 to 6 weeks with a broken rib. They just lost Springer the other day. Most are predicting a 2017 WS re-match between the Dodgers and the Stros. At OKC, Cameron Perkins has heated up somewhat. He and Connor Joe are the only hitters over .290 now that Smith is on the big club. No one down there seems to have much power except Garlick. JT Chargois is about the only relief arm who has really been effective. He has a sub 2 ERA in 15 games. He is also about the only 1 who could provide something out of the pen for the blue. Gonsolin has only pitched 10 innings down there. The rest of the relievers look like Gas Can Boys part 2.

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    1. So much potential for the bullpen in this system but they just aren’t performing. Wonder why.

      giants reliever? That would be Will Smith or Sam Dyson I assume . It’s going to cost us.

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    1. Farhan is from the Philipines and got his PhD at Berkeley. LA ain’t home. LA was just a launchpad for him. My money would be on the him to hornswoggle AF.

      Liked by 1 person

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