Dodgers News: Cody Bellinger Prioritized ‘Locking It In Every Single Pitch’ During 2019 Season
Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Dodgers All-Star Cody Bellinger broke out onto the scene in 2017, setting multiple franchise records en route to a unanimous National League Rookie of the Year selection. And though he endured somewhat of a sophomore slump last year, Bellinger managed to bounce back in a way during the 2019 season.

The 24-year-old enjoyed one of the best individual campaigns in Dodgers history, hitting a blistering .305/.406/.629 with 34 doubles, three triples, 47 home runs, 115 RBI and 15 stolen bases across 661 plate appearances (156 games).

Bellinger set career highs in virtually every category, including on-base plus slugging percentage (1.035) and Baseball-Reference’s WAR (9.0), while leading all players with 351 total bases.

Bellinger’s performance at the plate earned him plenty of hardware this offseason, including NL MVP honors and his first career Silver Slugger Award. He is also a candidate to be selected to the first ever All-MLB team.

When reflecting on his historic 2019 season, Bellinger revealed that a key ingredient to his success was maintaining focus with each pitchf, as seen on MLB Network:

“I think most importantly is locking it in every single pitch. That one time you get lazy on it, you get a bad jump on the ball, that ball is going to be in the gap or your misplay it. For me, I just try to lock it in every single play. That’s really hard to do, but if you can do that, your ability can take over.”

Wanting to improve the quality of his at-bats, Bellinger did just that by walking at a higher rate, cutting back on strikeouts and finding success against left-handed pitchers. When facing the same split during the 2019 season, he hit an impressive .280/.386/.596 in 228 opportunities.

Bellinger’s defensive efforts were equally impressive, as he graded out positively at three different positions. Bellinger received the majority of his playing time in right field, earning a Gold Glove Award over the likes of Jason Heyward and Bryce Harper.

He led all qualified players at the position with 19 Defensive Runs Saved and a 4.8 Defensive Rating. Bellinger also became the first player in MLB history to win two Fielding Bible Awards in a single season; one took into consideration his elite play in right field and the other highlighted his “multi-positional excellence.”

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