Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger was named the 2017 National League Rookie of the Year by Sporting News. This could be this first of many awards for Bellinger, as he is considered the heavy favorite to take home the MLB NL Rookie of the Year Award.
Bellinger began the season with Triple-A Oklahoma City, and while he wasn’t expected to be called up until later in the season, presumably once active rosters expanded in September, injuries forced the Dodgers’ hand. He joined the club April 25 and made his MLB debut against the San Francisco Giants.
Bellinger’s first big league season was an outstanding one, as he set the NL rookie record with 39 home runs, while batting .267/.352/.581 with 97 RBIs, 87 runs scored and 10 stolen bases in 132 games.
In addition to his contributions at the plate, Bellinger also demonstrated tremendous versatility in the field, as he played his natural first base position at a Gold-Glove caliber level while occasionally filling in at all three outfield positions.
Bellinger spent a majority of the season in the cleanup spot behind Justin Turner, and led the team in home runs, RBIs, runs scored and slugging percentage.
The Dodgers selected Bellinger in the fourth round of the 2013 Draft out of Hamilton High School in Chandler, Ariz. With the rookie season he had, Bellinger has already developed into one of the bright young stars in the Major Leagues, and he figures to anchor first base for the Dodgers for several years to come.