Los Angeles Dodgers All-Star Cody Bellinger is coming off an outstanding 2019 season, and he is being rewarded for that success as he was named a finalist for National League Outstanding Player in voting for the 2019 Players Choice Awards.
The other finalists for the award, which is not the official NL MVP but a similar honor that is voted on by players, include Milwaukee Brewers’ Christian Yelich and Washington Nationals’ Anthony Rendon. Yelich took home the honor last year in addition to NL MVP.
Bellinger may be considered the favorite to win it this year though after a strong all-around season for the 106-win Dodgers. In 156 games, Bellinger hit .305/.406/.629 with 47 home runs, 121 runs scored, 115 RBI and 15 stolen bases. He and Yelich tied for the NL lead in fWAR at 7.8, while Rendon was not far behind at 7.0.
The defense may be what sets Bellinger apart from the pack as he played multiple positions at an elite level, accumulating 26 DRS compared to 2 for Rendon and -1 for Yelich.
Both Rendon and Yelich had strong offensive seasons as well. Yelich’s year was cut short due to injury, but he still posted a .329/.429/.671 slashline with 44 home runs, 100 runs scored, 97 RBI and 30 stolen bases in 130 games. Rendon hit .319/.412/.598 with 34 home runs, 117 runs scored, 126 RBI and five stolen bases.
Finalists for the American LEague version of the award include Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout, Houston Astros’ Alex Bregman and Boston Red Sox’s Rafael Devers.
Winners of the AL and NL Outstanding Player awards receive grants of $20,000 each from the Major League Baseball Players Trust to direct to charities of their choice.
All told, the 2019 Players Choice Award winners will designate charities to receive grants totaling $260,000 from the Major League Baseball Players Trust. Since 1992, the Players Trust has recognized the outstanding on-and off-field performances of Players Choice Awards winners by contributing more than $5 million to charities around the world.