En route to leading the Majors with the best record and winning an unprecedented fifth consecutive National League West title, the Los Angeles Dodgers received contributions from those who were expected to play a key role as well as some who surprised.
Falling into the latter category were Cody Bellinger and Chris Taylor. Bellinger, while one of the organization’s top prospects, wasn’t expected to arrive until September as a call-up when active rosters expanded. Meanwhile, Taylor produce a breakout campaign that no one could have predicted.
Also a bit of a surprise was just how effective Austin Barnes was. He began the season as the unquestioned backup to Yasmani Grandal for the first time in his career, but played his way into a starting role come the end of the year.
According to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY! Sports, the Dodgers renewed the contracts of Barnes, Bellinger and Taylor for the 2018 season:
Cody Bellinger, the NL Rookie of the Year, had his contract renewed by the #Dodgers at $585,000_$37,300 less than AL Rookie of the Year Aaron Judge's $622,300 salary with the #Yankees. The Dodgers also renewed OF Chris Taylor ($575,000) and catcher Austin Barnes $555,000)
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) March 14, 2018
The club did the same for Joc Pederson, Corey Seager and Julio Urias heading into the 2017 season.
Bellinger hit .267/.352/.581 with 39 home runs and 97 RBI, first filling in for the Dodgers in left field, then cementing himself at first base. He went on to win the National League Rookie of the Year Award, giving the Dodgers a second consecutive winner.
Barnes finished the season batting .289/.408/.486 with 15 doubles, eight home runs and 38 RBI. He set career highs in several categories and showed his versatility by playing second base and third base.
Like Bellinger, Taylor began the season with Triple-A Oklahoma City before joining the Dodgers for good. He solidified the leadoff spot for the club and became their everyday center fielder, despite previously lacking experience in the outfield.