The young talent in Major League Baseball is off the charts this season, although a few players have stood out more than the rest as far as hitting home runs.
One of those is All-Star Cody Bellinger, who hit his 37th home run of the season to help lead the Los Angeles Dodgers to an 8-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in the series opener at Dodger Stadium.
Bellinger is only three home runs away of breaking his previous career high and 13 shy of setting a Dodgers franchise record.
Bellinger is not the only one leaving the ballpark on almost a nightly basis though, as Milwaukee Brewers’ Christian Yelich hit two on Monday night to give him a league-leading 39.
Additionally, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim’s Mike Trout hit one homer to give him 37 and New York Mets’ Pete Alonso also left the yard to bring his total to 35.
Per Stats LLC, Monday was just the fourth time in MLB history that all four of the league leaders homered on the same night when they all had 35 or more on the season. “Pretty crazy day,” Bellinger said when the stat was relayed to him.
Bellinger and Yelich in particular have been in a battle all season long for not only the home run crown but also the National League MVP Award.
While he is aware of how great of a season Yelich is having, Bellinger explained it’s not necessarily a focus of his. “I see it on social media, that’s about it,” Bellinger explained. “I mean, when you’re playing the game you don’t think about any of that.”
Bellinger went 12 straight games without a home run to end the month of July before heating back up and hitting three in his first five games in August. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has still been impressed with his overall play though even when he isn’t leaving the ballpark.
“He wasn’t hitting homers in July — I don’t know the exact numbers — but he was getting on base still,” Roberts said.
“Even his quality of contact has still been good; there’s been some balls hit hard at the first baseman or second baseman. I think the one consistent is he’s been in the strike zone of the entire season, he’s taking his walks, his on-base (percentage) has always been good. When he barrels it and elevates, it’s going to go out of the ballpark.”
With two months left in the season, Bellinger and Yelich have nearly identical numbers, which should make for a fun MVP race down the stretch.
Bellinger is hitting .325/.426/.675 with 37 home runs, 90 runs scored, 88 RBI and nine stolen bases while Yelich is batting .336/.428/.705 with 39 home runs, 82 runs scored, 84 RBI and 23 stolen bases.