A surprise call-up in April 2017 turned into the start of a historic season for Cody Bellinger as he helped lead the Los Angeles Dodgers to their first World Series appearance since 1988.
Bellinger’s success earned him plenty of individual recognition and accolades, including a selection to the 2017 MLB All-Star Game. Already poised for a trip to Marlins Park, and once his father was able to make arrangements to join him, Bellinger additionally committed to participating in the Home Run Derby.
He became the fourth consecutive Dodgers rookie to take part in the annual slugging contest and the franchise’s eighth different player to participate. That increased to nine with Max Muncy taking his swings last year.
Although Bellinger is again putting together an impressive first half, he does not plan on participating in the 2019 Home Run Derby but allowed for the possibility when the Dodgers host the All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium, according to Jorge Castillo of the L.A. Times:
Cody Bellinger said he doesn’t plan on participating in the home run derby this year. He said he’d consider doing it next year in LA.
— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) June 24, 2019
Bellinger was the No. 3 seed heading into the Derby and he advanced to the semifinals to New York Yankees right fielder and eventual champion Aaron Judge. It’s unclear what the reasoning is for Bellinger’s reluctance to partake in this year’s Home Run Derby.
Aside from already expressing a possible willingness to do so in 2020, he raved about the experience as a rookie. That week also included playing in the All-Star Game and hitting for the cycle as the Dodgers opened the second half of the season against the Miami Marlins.
Even though he plans to skip the Derby, Bellinger nonetheless figures to be on hand at Progressive Field for the All-Star Game. He and teammate Joc Pederson were the only Dodgers to advance to the “Starters Election” phase of voting, with Bellinger continuing to pace all vote-getters.
Mike Piazza (1993 and 1994), Raul Mondesi (1995), Hee-Seop Choi (2005), Matt Kemp (2011 and 2012), Yasiel Puig (2014), Joc Pederson (2015), Corey Seager (2016), Bellinger (2017) and Muncy (2018) are the Dodgers’ all-time participants in the Home Run Derby.