Cody Bellinger began his career in impressive fashion as he burst onto the scene and unanimously won the National League Rookie of the Year in 2017. However, Bellinger’s three ensuing seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers have been a bit of a rollercoaster.
After somewhat of a down year in 2018, Bellinger returned to form the following season and took home NL MVP honors.
Looking to build off that in 2020, Bellinger actually went the opposite direction again, hitting .239/.333/.455 with 12 home runs and 30 RBI. This past season was certainly an unusual one due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, so Bellinger only played in 56 games as opposed to a number closer to 162.
Because of that, Bellinger is not all that concerned with his down season and plans to use it as a learning experience since the Dodgers won the World Series, via Sam Alipour of ESPN:
“There’s no excuse for it, but I’m almost glad it happened because I became a better player toward the end of the season. We played 60 out of 162 games — like, I had 120 games left to go. It’s a different mindset when you’re at 50 games, like, “Damn, we have 10 games left?” Normally when you’re at 50, you have a hundred and something games left. But I felt really good in the playoffs and toward the end of the season and felt consistent, and I’m just going to take it from there.”
Even when Bellinger is struggling offensively, he is still one of the most valuable players in the league because of what he can do with his glove. That was on display in the postseason when he made a number of great catches in big spots in center field to help L.A. win it all.
Bellinger also went on to hit four homers and drive in 13 runs in the postseason, including the game-winning home run in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series against the Atlanta Braves.
Bellinger believes 2020 championship was earned
Despite the shortened season, the Dodgers still faced a ton of adversity to win their first championship since 1988, whether it be the coronavirus protocols, expanded postseason or playing at a neutral site.
Because of that, Bellinger silenced all of the doubters by emphasizing that the Dodgers earned their trophy, and hopefully he can get back to his MVP form in 2021 so they can do it again.
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