The Los Angeles Dodgers continue to inch closer to the start of the 2020 regular season after a long layoff as the team has reported to Dodger Stadium for Summer Camp with Opening Day set for July 23 against the San Francisco Giants.
For All-Star and reigning National League MVP Cody Bellinger, the 2020 season will serve as an opportunity for him to further prove that last year’s campaign was no fluke and he is one of the bright, young stars in all of baseball.
Bellinger is not focused on that, however, as he is just embracing the opportunity to play under such unique circumstances of a 60-game season.
Bellinger is the best home run hitter on the Dodgers after clubbing a career-high 47 in 2019. Obviously he won’t be able to post that total in 2020 with fewer games, so he examined what number is possible for him and the league’s other home run hitters.
Alex Wood recently pegged the number 17 as a potential target for home run leaders, and Bellinger agreed it will be around that number.
“I actually saw Alex Wood tweet out 17. Seventeen in 60 games, I think that’s a lot,” Bellinger initially said. “But I think that it’s possible. I would say… I’m going go with him. I have no idea, so I’m going to go with 17.”
In the Dodgers’ first 60 games in 2019, Bellinger actually had 20 home runs, which led the league at the time. He began the season on a torrid pace, making it impossible to maintain for 162 games.
Bellinger isn’t even thinking about hitting 20 in 2020, but is hoping he will be able to get to 17. “That would be crazy. We’ll see. I hope, but we’ll see,” he said.
The Dodgers have a number of hitters that could potentially lead the league in home runs in a 60-game season if they get hot, with Max Muncy, Joc Pederson and Mookie Betts all candidates as well.
The main focus will be on the greater goal of winning the division and the World Series though, so while hitting home runs will contribute to that, it will not be a point of emphasis in the organization.
Dodger Stadium batter’s eye
If Bellinger and the Dodgers are to flex their power, the batter’s eye at Dodger Stadium presumably will need to be corrected. It had a different view as a result of the $100 million renovation, and the new look was not received well by players.
The team has since quickly adjusted to again placing tarp on the sections in the left- and right-field pavilions that are closest to the batter’s eye.
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