Dodgers 2019 First Half Review: Cody Bellinger Produces Historic Numbers In Middle Of Potent Lineup
Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger hits a home run against the San Diego Padres
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

At 60-32, the Los Angeles Dodgers entered the All-Star break with the best record in Major League Baseball and a commanding double-digit lead over the second-place Colorado Rockies in the National League West standings.

While the success of the starting rotation has been well-documented, the Dodgers additionally received a plethora of contributions from their talented position player group.

As an offense, the Dodgers ranked first in FanGraphs’ WAR (20.9), third in wRC+ (112), fourth in walk percentage (9.7), fifth in home runs (146) and seventh in runs (480) during the first half of regular season play.

With an excellent blend of star power, youth and depth, let’s look back at Los Angeles’ lineup and determine which players stood out most over the first three-plus months of action.

Cody Bellinger: After enduring somewhat of a sophomore slump last season, it’s safe to say that Bellinger has bounced back in a big way. He entered the All-Star break leading the Majors in a multitude of statistical categories, including runs (70), OPS+ (191) and total bases (220).

All-in-all, Bellinger produced an outstanding .336/.432/.692 slash line with 19 doubles, two triples, 30 home runs and 71 RBI over 377 plate appearances during the first half of play (88 games), adding eight stolen bases while drawing nearly the same amount of walks (54) as strikeouts (56).

On top of earning his second career trip to the Midsummer Classic, Bellinger set a plethora of franchise records along the way, including most home runs by a Dodgers player before the All-Star break.

Max Muncy: Looking to prove that his 2018 breakout campaign wasn’t a fluke, Muncy has picked up where he left off with another strong offensive showing. In 89 games during the first half, he hit .266/.366/.531 with 13 doubles, one triple, 22 home runs and 60 RBI over 358 plate appearances.

Muncy earned a spot on the NL All-Star team as a result — his first career selection — and flashed his leather with a spectacular diving stop at second base.

Justin Turner: Now in his sixth season with the Dodgers, Turner continues to get the job done with his bat. Despite getting off to a slow start in the power department, he hit a solid .294/.375/.446 with 14 doubles, 10 home runs and 34 RBI across 333 trips to the plate (82 games).

Joc Pederson: Receiving the bulk of his opportunities against right-handed pitching, Pederson batted .239/.333/.532 with 30 extra-base hits and 42 RBI in 297 plate appearances during the first half (82 games).

Pederson was one of three Dodgers players to slug at least 20 home runs, successfully reaching the threshold for the fourth time in five seasons dating back to 2015.

Though he was snubbed of a spot on the NL All-Star team, Pederson still made his presence felt in the 2019 Home Run Derby, where he put on a show and set an MLB record for most home runs hit in any two competitions.

Corey Seager: Coming off two major operations, Seager entered the 2019 season looking to recapture his previous All-Star form. Given the long layoff, he understandably struggled in April, hitting a mere .236 across 28 games.

Shaking the cobwebs off, the young shortstop improved as the season went along and posted an .852 on-base plus slugging in May. He followed up that performance with an even better 1.140 OPS in June.

Unfortunately for Seager, a hamstring injury sidelined him for the better part of the month. He was activated off the 10-day injured list this week, should be back in the Dodgers lineup for their three-game series against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park and brings with him a nine-game hitting streak.

Alex Verdugo: Benefiting from a larger role, Verdugo thrived offensively in the first half of regular season play to the tune of a .303/.350/.489 slash line with 20 doubles, two triples, nine home runs and 39 RBI over 303 plate appearances (86 games).

David Freese: In his first full season with the Dodgers, Freese has produced at an elite level, hitting .308/.407/.592 with 10 doubles, eight home runs and 23 RBI over 140 trips to the plate (56 games).

Kiké Hernandez: Though he started out the year on a good note, the first half of regular season play was a struggle for Hernandez. In 86 games, he batted just .216/.286/.408 with 25 extra-base hits over 315 plate appearances.

Hernandez was the only Dodgers player to log at least 250 plate appearances and enter the All-Star break with an OPS+ under 100 (81).

Chris Taylor: Rebounding from a slow start, Taylor concluded the first half of regular season play with a respectable .269/.335/.466 slash line in 286 plate appearances (88 games). He accumulated 31 extra-base hits and 41 RBI during the span.

Russell Martin: In the midst of his first season with the Dodgers since 2010, Martin contributed in more ways than one during the initial half of play.

At the plate, he reached base at an impressive .360 clip despite a significant drop-off in power. The 36-year-old also contributed on the defensive side, committing just two errors while ranking among the top third in pitch framing for catchers.

What’s more, Martin took the mound on two occasions and tossed scoreless outings in both appearances.

Austin Barnes: His offensive struggles have carried over into the 2019 season, where Barnes is hitting just .207/.302/.345 in 199 plate appearances (61 games). On the bright side, the 29-year-old continues to provide value on the defensive side, once again ranking at the top of the leaderboard in multiple pitch framing metrics.

A.J. Pollock: His first season with the Dodgers hasn’t gone as planned, as the 31-year-old hit just .223/.287/.330 with six extra-base hits in 115 plate appearances during the first half. He was limited to 28 games over the first three-plus months of the regular season, undergoing elbow surgery in early May to remove hardware from a previous operation.

After a lengthy recovery, Pollock is expected to be activated off the 60-day injured list prior to the start of this weekend’s 2018 World Series rematch against the Red Sox.

The rookies: Matt Beaty, Kyle Garlick and Will Smith all shined at the plate during various points of the first half, combining for seven home runs and 27 RBI in between stints at Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Smith, in particular, enjoyed a memorable run with the Dodgers, accounting for two walk-off home runs against the Philadelphia Phillies and Rockies.