Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger was named the winner of the Players Choice National League Outstanding Rookie Award. Pittsburgh Pirates infielder/outfielder Josh Bell and St. Louis Cardinals infielder Paul DeJong were also finalists for the honor.
Bellinger was previously named NL Rookie of the Year by Sporting News, and is expected to take home the Baseball Writers Association of America Rookie of the Year Award as well. The three-award sweep was completed by Corey Seager last season.
Bellinger made his MLB debut April 25 and proceeded to put together a record-breaking campaign. He finished the season batting .267/.352/.581 with 26 doubles, 39 home runs, 97 RBI, a .380 wOBA and 138 wRC+ in 132 games.
The 22-year-old led the team in home runs, RBI and slugging percentage, tied for second in triples, was second in on-base plus slugging percentage (.933) and fifth in doubles.
Moreover, Bellinger’s 39 home runs were most all-time by an NL rookie, which was previously held by Wally Berger (1930) and Frank Robinson (1960). Mike Piazza’s 35 home runs slugged in 1993 were the previous high for a Dodgers rookie.
Bellinger’s list of accolades include becoming the first Dodgers player to be named to the All-Star Game in his first season. He also was the fastest player in MBL history to hit 21 home runs and produce five multi-homer games.
Bellinger then proceeded to break another of Piazza’s Dodgers rookie records, with his sixth multi-home run game. He was named a finalist for the 2017 Hank Aaron Award, which went to Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton, deeming his offensive season the best in the NL.
Defensively, Bellinger was worth two defensive runs saved and posted a 4.4 UZR/150 at first base. His soft hands and athleticism have many projecting Bellinger will win at least one Gold Glove Award in his career.
Winning a Players Choice Award comes with a donation to a charity of the recipient’s choosing, and Bellinger said his will go to Kiké Hernandez to aid recovery efforts in Puerto Rico.