After months of anticipation, Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger was unanimously voted the 2017 Jackie Robinson National League Rookie of the Year. He bested Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Josh Bell and St. Louis Cardinals middle infielder Paul DeJong to earn the honor.
Bellinger was previously named NL Rookie of the Year by Sporting News, and NL Outstanding Rookie by his peers. The 22-year-old made his MLB debut on April 25 and went on to enjoy a historic inaugural season.
In 132 regular season games, Bellinger hit .267/.352/.581 with 26 doubles, 39 home runs and 97 RBI over 548 plate appearances. He additionally scored 87 runs and successfully stole 10 bases, while tallying a total of 128 hits and 64 walks.
Bellinger was selected to the NL All-Star team for his efforts and participated in the Home Run Derby. He set the Dodgers’ all-time home run record for a rookie, surpassing Mike Piazza’s total of 35 in 1993.
Bellinger also broke the long-standing NL rookie home run record of 38, previously held by Wally Berger (1930) and Frank Robinson (1960).
On the field, he accumulated two Defensive Runs Saved and a 4.4 UZR/150 as a first baseman while appearing in all three outfield positions. Overall, Bellinger posted 4.2 WAR, per Baseball-Reference’s calculations.
In the postseason, Bellinger hit a collective .219/.254/.453 with eight extra-base hits and 29 strikeouts over 67 trips to the plate (15 games). He especially thrived in the NL Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs, where he produced an .893 on-base plus slugging percentage in 23 opportunities.
Bellinger is the second Dodgers player in as many years to be named NL Rookie of the Year, succeeding Corey Seager, who earned honors for his excellent 2016 season on both sides of the ball.
What’s more, Bellinger etched his name into Dodgers lore as the 18th player in franchise history to win the award.
He joins Jackie Robinson (1947), Don Newcombe (1949), Joe Black (1952), Jim Gilliam (1953), Frank Howard (1960), Jim Lefebvre (1965), Ted Sizemore (1969), Rick Sutcliffe (1979), Steve Howe (1980), Fernando Valenzuela (1981), Steve Sax (1982), Eric Karros (1992), Piazza (1993), Raul Mondesi (1994), Hideo Nomo (1995) Todd Hollandsworth (1996) and Seager (2016).
Like Bellinger, the New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge was the unanimous selection for American League Rookie of the Year. H received the nod over Andrew Benintendi of the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles’ Trey Mancini.