When the Los Angeles Dodgers called up top prospect Cody Bellinger, the team’s record was an underwhelming 9-11 and the offense was struggling. Nearly two months later, Bellinger’s MLB debut can be looked at as a turning point of sorts.
Los Angeles has gone 35-15 since Bellinger’s first game on April 25. He’s slugged a Major-League best 19 home runs during that span. Entering Sunday, he’d hit seven home runs in the past seven games. Included in that was back-to-back games with multiple home runs.
Bellinger became the first player in MLB history to have four multi-homer efforts within his first 45 career games. Perhaps equally as impressive, Bellinger hit the first home run Cleveland Indians reliever Andrew Miller allowed this season.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts recently praised the rookie for all he’s accomplished thus far, via Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“For a young player to impact a championship caliber ballclub like this – on the defensive side, obviously in the batter’s box – I think exceeded all of our expectations. It’s scary. It’s easy to say he’s only going to get better. But he keeps getting better.”
Overall this season, Bellinger he is hitting .261/.333/.628 with the 19 home runs and 43 RBIs. He leads the Dodgers in both categories. What’s more, Bellinger has demonstrated versatility, playing both left field and first base.
If Bellinger continues on his current pace, the 21-year-old should be among the frontrunners to win National League Rookie of the Year.
Bellinger has already earned NL Rookie of the Week honors and NL Player of the Month for May.