Entering his second Major League campaign is Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger, who enjoyed a rookie season for the ages.
After a torrid offensive display for much of the year, which included a National League rookie record 39 home runs during the regular season, Bellinger was recognized with many honors. The list extends to his first All-Star appearance, a top-10 finish in MVP voting and NL Rookie of the Year Award.
Despite all of his success, Bellinger isn’t content and wants to be even better this season, via Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times:
Two weeks after Game 7, Bellinger began revamping his physique for his sophomore season.
“That was just me knowing that one good year doesn’t mean …,” Bellinger said, using an expletive. “I know there’s going to be a lot of guys coming after not just me, but our team this year.”
Though he was a vital part of in the middle of the Dodgers lineup for the majority of the season, Bellinger’s production cooled off considerably in the World Series. He struck out 17 times over 29 plate appearances — hitting just .143 during the seven-game matchup against the Houston Astros.
Bellinger is mindful of the possibility of a sophomore slump, but isn’t concerned that he’ll be affected. As a response, he gained 15 pounds of muscle during the winter in an effort to sustain the grueling workload of a 162-game season.
That garnered praise from Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who credited Bellinger’s emphasis on proper nutrition, and believes the 22-year-old is bound for another excellent season.