Cody Bellinger of the Los Angeles Dodgers was named the top first base prospect for the 2017 season by MLB Pipeline. Bellinger placed second on the publication’s list last year, finishing behind Pittsburgh Pirates prospect Josh Bell.
That was Bellinger’s first appearance on MLB Pipeline’s ranking of top Minor League first basemen since he was selected by the Dodgers in the fourth round of the 2013 Draft. The 21-year-old played all but three games last season with Double-A Tulsa.
Bellinger hit .263/.359/.484 with 17 doubles, 23 home runs and 65 RBI in 114 games for the Drillers. He was promoted to Triple-A Oklahoma City last September, going 6-for-11 with three home runs and six RBI in three regular-season games.
The stay with OKC continued into the Pacific Coast League playoffs and PCL Championship. Bellinger batted .250/.364/.361 with one double, one home run, five RBI and seven walks in nine playoff games.
His 2016 campaign came to an end with a strong showing in the Arizona Fall League, where Bellinger batted .314/.424/.557 with eight doubles and three home runs in 20 games for the Glendale Desert Dogs.
Aside from offensive production, Bellinger offers defensive flexibility as in addition to playing first base, he logged time at all three outfield spots for the Drillers.
With the graduations of Corey Seager and Julio Urias, Bellinger has been anointed the Dodgers’ top prospect for the 2017 season in the eyes of Baseball America. He was ranked the Dodgers fifth-best prospect by Baseball America prior to last season.
Bellinger placed second behind Yadier Alvarez by Baseball Prospectus. Los Angeles reportedly received trade interest for their versatile first baseman, though turned clubs away.
The Dodgers are also said to be against trading Alvarez and Walker Buehler.