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Cody James Bellinger (born July 13, 1995) is an American professional baseball first baseman and outfielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball (MLB). He was named an All-Star and the National League's Rookie of the Year in 2017, and won the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 2019. Bellinger is the son of Clay Bellinger, who also played in MLB.

Cody Bellinger
Dodgers bellinger 2017.jpg
Bellinger with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2017
Los Angeles Dodgers – No. 35
First baseman / Outfielder
Born: (1995-07-13) July 13, 1995 (age 24)
Scottsdale, Arizona
Bats: Left Throws: Left
MLB debut
April 25, 2017, for the Los Angeles Dodgers
MLB statistics
(through 2019 season)
Batting average.278
Home runs111
Runs batted in288
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Early lifeEdit

Bellinger was born in Scottsdale, Arizona. He grew up a New York Yankees fan.[1]

Bellinger played in the 2007 Little League World Series for the Chandler, Arizona team[2] and played high school baseball at Hamilton High School in Chandler.[3] He was a 2013 Rawlings-Perfect Game 2nd Team All-American.[4] While known primarily for his hitting ability, Bellinger also pitched for his high school and threw a four-hit, complete-game shutout with 10 strikeouts in a national tournament.[5]

Professional careerEdit

Minor leaguesEdit

 
Bellinger as a member of the Tulsa Drillers

Bellinger was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fourth round of the 2013 Major League Baseball draft[6] and signed with them on June 13, 2013, for a $700,000 signing bonus, despite a verbal commitment to play college baseball at the University of Oregon.[7] He made his professional debut with the Arizona League Dodgers, batting .210 in 195 plate appearances.[8] He had some difficulty making contact in his first pro season, striking out 46 times in 47 games but scouts said he showed promise and had lots of power potential.[9]

In 2014, he was promoted to the Ogden Raptors of the Pioneer League[10] and despite dealing with a shoulder injury early in the summer[11] he hit .328 in 46 games for the Raptors.[8] He played in 2015 with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes and was selected to the mid-season California League all-star team[12] as well as the post-season all-star team.[13] In 128 games, he hit .264 with 30 homers (tied for 2nd in the league), leading the league in runs (97) and RBIs (103).[8][14] He was given a non-roster invitation to Dodgers spring training in 2016.[15] Bellinger was assigned to the Double-A Tulsa Drillers in the Texas League to start the 2016 season.[16] In 114 games for Tulsa he hit .263 with 23 homers (3rd in the league), 59 walks (tied for 3rd in the league), and 65 RBIs (9th in the league), earning him a late-season promotion to the Triple-A Oklahoma City Dodgers, where he had six hits in 11 at bats (.545 average) and three home runs.[17][18][8] Bellinger was assigned to the Glendale Desert Dogs of the Arizona Fall League after the season and he participated in the Fall Stars Game of top prospects in the league.[19]

Bellinger began the 2017 season with Oklahoma City[20] and was called up to the majors for the first time on April 25, 2017.[21]

Los Angeles DodgersEdit

2017: NL Rookie of the YearEdit

 
Bellinger hitting with the 2017 Los Angeles Dodgers

Bellinger started in left field in his major league debut on April 25, 2017, against the San Francisco Giants, and had one hit in three at-bats, with an intentional walk. He was just the third Dodgers player in history to be intentionally walked in his debut (Chico Fernández, Dick Nen). Bellinger's first major league hit was an infield single off Neil Ramírez in the ninth inning of the same game.[22][23] Bellinger hit his first major league home run on April 29 off Zach Eflin of the Philadelphia Phillies and followed that by hitting a second home run in the same game, this one off Héctor Neris. He was just the third Dodgers player with a two–home-run game among his first five starts, joining Charlie Gilbert (1940) and Yasiel Puig (2013).[24][25] He hit his first grand slam on May 6, off Miguel Díaz of the San Diego Padres, as part of a career-high five RBI day.[26] He was the first Dodgers player to hit five home runs within his first 11 games.[27] Bellinger was named the National League Player of the Week for the first week of May.[28] With nine home runs in May, Bellinger moved into a three-way tie with Joc Pederson (May 2015) and James Loney (September 2007) for most home runs by a Dodgers rookie in a calendar month.[29] He was named the National League Rookie of the Month for May.[30]

Bellinger hit two home runs against the Cincinnati Reds on June 11, then did so again in the Dodgers' next game—on June 13, against the Cleveland Indians—to become the first Dodgers player to hit two home runs in back-to-back games since Adrián Beltré in the 2004 season and he had four multi–home-run games in his first 45 games, becoming the fastest player in MLB history to accomplish that, besting Bob Horner who did so in 63 games in 1978.[31] He again hit two home runs in a game on June 19, against the New York Mets, and in the process tied Wally Berger and Gary Sánchez for the fastest players to hit 20 home runs.[32] On June 20, Bellinger became the first rookie in MLB history with 10 home runs in a 10-game span.[33] He had his sixth multi–home-run game on June 25, against the Colorado Rockies, passing Mike Piazza to set a new Dodgers rookie record.[34] He won his second player of the week award for his work that week.[35] Bellinger was named to the 2017 Major League Baseball All-Star Game as a reserve.[36] He also competed in the Home Run Derby, advancing to the second round before falling to the eventual champion Aaron Judge.[37] On July 15, he hit for the cycle against the Miami Marlins, the first rookie in franchise history to do so.[38] On September 2, he hit his 35th home run of the season to tie Mike Piazza for the Dodgers rookie record.[39] He broke the record the following day.[40] He tied Wally Berger and Frank Robinson for the National League record when he hit his 38th home run on September 16.[41] He hit his 39th on September 22 against the San Francisco Giants.[42]

In his first season in the majors, Bellinger played in 132 games with a .267 batting average, 39 home runs, and 97 RBI.[43] He was selected as the Sporting News NL Rookie of the Year.[44] He played in all 15 of the Dodgers games in the post-season, with a .219 batting average, three home runs and nine RBI. He also struck out 29 times in 64 at-bats.[43] In Game 5 of the 2017 World Series, Bellinger came to bat in the fifth inning, and with two Dodgers on base, hit a home run. The three-run-home run temporarily put the Dodgers in the lead.[45] He set the MLB record for most strikeouts in one postseason with 29 strikeouts, 17 strikeouts in the World Series alone.[46] After the season, he was unanimously voted as the National League Rookie of the Year.[47]

2018: NLCS MVPEdit

Bellinger played in 162 of the 163 games of the Dodgers' 2018 regular season, appearing at first base (110 games, 85 starts), center field (78 games, 50 starts), right field (5 games) and left field (1 game). He led the team in hits (145) and multi-hit games (41), slashing .260/.343/.470 with a .814 OPS and 25 home runs, 7 triples, 28 doubles, 76 RBIs, and 14 stolen bases.[48] He hit his first home run of the 2018 season on April 1, 2018, which was the 40th of his career, a milestone he reached in just 136 games, the third fewest games needed to hit 40 home runs, trailing Rudy York (129) and Mark McGwire (110) according to STATS, LLC. During the June 5–7 series against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park, Bellinger hit home runs in each of the 3 games of the series, then hit another home run against the Atlanta Braves at Dodger Stadium the following day, June 8, to complete 4 home runs in 4 consecutive games for the first time in his career.[49] In the 2018 National League West tie-breaker game on October 1, Bellinger hit a 2 run home run in the bottom of the 4th inning.[50] Bellinger appeared in all 12 of the Dodgers' Postseason games and was named the 2018 NLCS MVP after his 13th inning walk-off single in Game 4 and his go-ahead two run home run in the second inning of game 7 in the Dodgers defeat of the Milwaukee Brewers to win the 2018 National League Pennant.[51]

2019: NL MVPEdit

Bellinger got off to a torrid start in 2019, and on April 26 he hit his 13th home run of the season and set a new MLB record with 88 total bases before the month of May, a record previously set by Chase Utley with the 2008 Phillies. He also passed Matt Kemp for the Dodgers record for most home runs in that span.[52] His 97 total bases, 37 RBI and 47 hits all established new major league records for before May 1, while his 14 home runs and 32 runs scored tied MLB records.[53] He earned his first Player of the Month award in April 2019.[54]

Bellinger carried a .400 batting average into mid-May and finished the first half in the top 5 in the NL in average, home runs, RBI, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and OPS. He was voted as the right fielder for the National League in the 2019 All Star game[55] and set a new Dodgers franchise record with 30 home runs before the All-Star Game.[56]

Bellinger was ejected for the first time in his career in a game against the Los Angeles Angels on July 24 by home plate umpire Dan Iassogna for arguing balls and strikes.[57] On August 2, Bellinger hit his 100th career home run off of Eric Lauer of the San Diego Padres. By doing so, he became the fastest player in Dodgers history to accomplish that feat. He did it in his 401st game, surpassing Mike Piazza who took 422 games to get there.[58] On August 15, at just 24 years old he became the youngest player in Dodgers history to hit 40 home runs in a season.[59]

Bellinger finished the regular season with a .305 batting average, 47 home runs, and 115 RBI, all career highs.[43] He led the major leagues in WAR (9.0) and intentional walks (21).[60] On defense in 2019, he had a 19 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) rating, the best in the major leagues among right fielders.[61] After the season, Bellinger was awarded the Fielding Bible Award for both right field and multi-positional categories, the first Dodger outfielder to win the award and the first player to win two in the same season.[62] He also won the Rawlings Gold Glove Award for right field.[63] He also won the Silver Slugger Award, becoming just the fifth Dodgers player in history to win both a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger in the same season.[64] Bellinger also was voted the NL MVP.[65]

Awards and honorsEdit

Personal lifeEdit

 
Bellinger (left) with his father, Clay, in 2019

Bellinger's family is of French, German, and Greek heritage and his father, Clay, played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the New York Yankees and Anaheim Angels.[71] His younger brother, Cole Bellinger, was the winning pitcher for Hamilton High School (Chandler, Arizona) in both the 2016 and 2017 state-championship games and was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 15th round of the 2017 MLB Draft.[72][73]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Eisenband, Jeff (October 6, 2017). "Cody Bellinger Was At The Heart Of The Last Yankee Dynasty". ThePostGame.com. Retrieved July 30, 2019.
  2. ^ "Bellinger Like His Father but With More Power". New York Times. Associated Press. August 19, 2007. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  3. ^ Willsey, Lee (March 4, 2013). "BELLINGER QUIETLY, TRIUMPHANTLY MAKES MARK FOR HAMILTON BB". AZPreps365. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  4. ^ "Annual awards recognize the top senior athletes in high school baseball nationwide". Perfect Game Inc. March 12, 2013. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  5. ^ Brudnicki, Alexis (March 28, 2013). "Cody Bellinger Shows Off Arm With 10-Strikeout Complete-Game Performance At NHSI". Baseball America. Archived from the original on November 7, 2017. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  6. ^ Laymance, Austin (June 7, 2013). "Dodgers take first baseman Bellinger in fourth round". mlb.com. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  7. ^ Stephen, Eric (June 13, 2013). "MLB Draft 2013: Dodgers sign Brandon Dixon (3rd) & Cody Bellinger (4th)". SB Nation. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  8. ^ a b c d "Cody Bellinger minor league statistics & history". Baseball Reference.
  9. ^ Massey, Jared (September 20, 2013). "2013 Dodgers Minor League Review: Rookies". Scout.com. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  10. ^ Stephen, Eric (June 15, 2014). "Ogden Raptors 2014 opening day roster includes John Richy, Brock Stewart". SB Nation. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  11. ^ Massey, Jared (September 18, 2014). "Dodgers 2014 Minor League Review: Ogden Raptors". Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  12. ^ a b Dykstra, Sam (June 11, 2015). "Phillips, Reed headline Cal League All-Stars". milb.com. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  13. ^ a b California League (August 21, 2015). "Cal League reveals postseason All-Stars". milb.com. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
  14. ^ "2015 California League Awards". Baseball Cube. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  15. ^ Simon, Andrew (January 25, 2016). "Top pitching prospects invited to Dodgers camp". mlb.com. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  16. ^ Lewis, Barry (April 4, 2016). "Drillers' roster set for season opener". Tulsaworld.com. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  17. ^ "2016 Texas League". Baseball Cube. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
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  19. ^ a b Stephen, Eric (November 5, 2016). "Willie Calhoun, Cody Bellinger each homer in Fall Stars Game". SB Nation. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  20. ^ Unruh, Jacob (April 6, 2017). "OKC Dodgers: Cody Bellinger latest top prospect to come through OKC". NewsOK. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
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  23. ^ Stepgen, Eric (April 25, 2017). "Clayton Kershaw gives Dodgers a leg up". SB Nation. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
  24. ^ Dilbeck, Steve (April 30, 2017). "Bellinger makes most of first big league HRs". mlb.com. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  25. ^ Stephen, Eric (April 29, 2017). "Dodgers stun Phillies with 3 home runs in 9th inning in 6-5 win". SB Nation. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  26. ^ "Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres Box Score, May 6, 2017". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved November 14, 2017.
  27. ^ Stephen, Eric (May 6, 2017). "Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers survive 8th-inning blip to beat Padres". SB Nation. Retrieved May 7, 2017.
  28. ^ a b Stephen, Eric (May 8, 2017). "Cody Bellinger named NL Player of the Week". SB Nation. Retrieved May 8, 2017.
  29. ^ Chasen, Scott; Harris, Joe (May 29, 2017). "Dodgers ride trio of HRs to 5th straight win". mlb.com. Retrieved May 29, 2017.
  30. ^ a b Vernola, Trevor (June 2, 2017). "Dodgers News: Cody Bellinger Named NL Rookie of the Month". dodgersnation.com. Retrieved June 2, 2017.
  31. ^ Kowileskin, William; Weinrib, Ben (June 13, 2017). "Kershaw tops Tribe after Bellinger bests Miller". MLB.com. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  32. ^ Baer, Bill (June 19, 2017). "Cody Bellinger sets major league record with 21 home runs through first 51 games". NBC Sports. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
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  34. ^ Minami, Craig (June 25, 2017). "Cody Bellinger hits two home runs as Dodgers storm back to win 12-6 and sweep Rockies". SB Nation. Retrieved June 25, 2017.
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  36. ^ a b Stephen, Eric (July 2, 2017). "All-Star Game rosters 2017: Dodgers send 4 players to Miami". SB Nation. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
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  38. ^ Sattell, Glenn (July 15, 2017). "Bellinger is 1st Dodgers rookie to hit for cycle". mlb.com. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
  39. ^ Gurnick, Ken (September 2, 2017). "Bellinger's 35th ties Dodgers' rookie HR record". mlb.com. Retrieved September 3, 2017.
  40. ^ Gurnick, Ken (September 4, 2017). "SD beats LA; Bellinger sets Dodgers record". mlb.com. Retrieved September 4, 2017.
  41. ^ Collier, Jamal; Gurnick, Ken (September 17, 2017). "LA stifles Nats again, drops magic number to 5". mlb.com. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
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  53. ^ Acquavella, Katherine (May 1, 2019). "Dodgers' Cody Bellinger smashing MLB records in historic first month of 2019 season". CBS Sports. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
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  55. ^ "LIVE: All-Star starters being unveiled on ESPN". ESPN. June 27, 2019. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  56. ^ Gurnick, Ken (July 5, 2019). "Bellinger in legendary company with 30th homer". Retrieved July 5, 2019.
  57. ^ Gurnick, Ken (July 25, 2019). "Bellinger tossed in heated Freeway Series finale". MLB.com. Retrieved July 30, 2019.
  58. ^ Gurnick, Ken (August 2, 2019). "Bellinger becomes fastest Dodger to 100 HRs". mlb.com. Retrieved August 3, 2019.
  59. ^ De Nicola, Christina (August 15, 2019). "Bellinger first to 40 HRs with massive blast". mlb.com. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
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  61. ^ "Major League Leaderboards » 2019 » Right Fielders » Fielding Statistics | FanGraphs Baseball". Fangraphs.com. January 1, 2019. Retrieved October 7, 2019.
  62. ^ a b c Adler, David (October 31, 2019). "Bellinger makes Fielding Bible Award history". mlb.com. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  63. ^ a b Harris, Blake (November 3, 2019). "Cody Bellinger wins first career Gold Glove Award". Retrieved November 3, 2019.
  64. ^ a b Kavner, Rowan (November 7, 2019). "Bellinger wins Silver Slugger Award". dodgers.com. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
  65. ^ a b Gurnick, Ken and Sarah Wexler (November 14, 2019). "Bellinger completes Awards trifecta with MVP". MLB. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  66. ^ City News Service (January 3, 2018). "Cody Bellinger Clinches LA Sports Council's 2017 Sportsman of the Year". NBC Los Angeles. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  67. ^ Kelly, Matt (April 8, 2019). "SoCal sluggers nab Player of Week honors". MLB.com. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  68. ^ Kavner, Rowan (July 3, 2017). "Bellinger, Jansen earn NL June honors". Dodger Insider. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
  69. ^ Stephen, Eric (November 8, 2017). "Cody Bellinger named Players Choice NL Outstanding Rookie". SB Nation. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
  70. ^ Rockies PR (November 7, 2017). "Topps All-Star Rookie Team - Rockies right-hander German Márquez honored". KKTV News. Retrieved November 13, 2017.
  71. ^ Brudnicki, Alexis (March 29, 2013). "Bellinger Looks To Big League Father For Draft Advice". Baseball America. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  72. ^ Mitchell, Bill (May 18, 2016). "HAMILTON HIGH WINS ARIZONA STATE CHAMPIONSHIP". Baseball America. Archived from the original on August 22, 2017. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  73. ^ Cassavell, AJ (June 14, 2017). "Padres draft Cole Bellinger, brother of Cody". Major League Baseball. Retrieved July 16, 2017.

External linksEdit

Achievements
Preceded by
Nolan Arenado
Hitting for the cycle
July 15, 2017
Succeeded by
Evan Longoria