Although Cody Bellinger experienced some regression during his sophomore season, he and the Los Angeles Dodgers were optimistic 2019 would be a bit of a bounce-back year. Sure enough, Bellinger went on to win the National League MVP Award.
He finished the season batting .305/.406/.629 with 34 doubles, 47 home runs and 115 RBI. Bellinger set career highs in total hits (170), runs scored (121), doubles, home runs, RBI and stolen bases (15).
All the while he continued to play stellar defense and proved to be a difference-maker at first base, center field and right field. Bellinger believes that level of versatility helped him stave off Milwaukee Brewers right fielder Christian Yelich and Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon in the MVP race.
In a year that was full of highlights and memorable moments, DodgerBlue.com has ranked Bellinger’s best plays. The list begins at No. 10, when Bellinger hit a home run on his bobblehead night at Dodger Stadium.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) April 14, 2019
The night began with Bellinger catching the ceremonial first pitch from his mother and also visiting briefly with his father and sister. Unfortunately for Bellinger and the Dodgers, the game largely belonged to the Brewers.
They took a 2-0 lead behind solo home runs by Mike Moustakas and Orlando Arcia and went on for a 4-1 victory. The Dodgers’ lone run came on Bellinger’s majestic drive down the right-field line.
The home run was his ninth of the season and in the process Bellinger became the first player in Dodgers franchise history with 22 RBI in the first 16 games of a season. Prior to that point he’d already surpassed Mike Piazza’s Dodgers record for most home runs through the first 300 games of a career.
Bellinger additionally had put his name in elite company the with Atlanta Braves’ Eddie Mathews (1953) and New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez (2007) as the only players in Major League history six home runs and 16 RBI in the first eight games of a season.
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