To no surprise, Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman and outfielder Cody Bellinger was named a finalist for the 2017 National League Rookie of the Year Award. Along with Bellinger, Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Josh Bell and St. Louis Cardinals middle infielder Paul DeJong were also named finalists.
Bellinger was previously named NL Rookie of the Year by Sporting News. The 22-year-old earned the call to the Majors in late-April and never looked back from there, earning a permanent spot in the Dodgers lineup for the remainder of the season.
In 548 plate appearances (132 games), Bellinger hit .267/.352/.581 with 26 doubles, 39 home runs, 97 RBI and 87 runs scored. He set the Dodgers’ all-time home run record for a rookie, surpassing Mike Piazza’s total of 35 in 1993.
Bellinger also shattered the long-standing NL rookie home run record of 38, previously held by Wally Berger (1930) and Frank Robinson (1960).
Over 15 postseason games, Bellinger batted .219/.254/.453 with four doubles, three home runs and nine RBI. But he struggled in the World Series and struck out 17 times in 28 at-bats.
On the defensive side, Bellinger posted above-average metrics at first base (two defensive runs saved, 4.4 UZR/150). What’s more, he displayed his defensive versatility over the year by seeing action at all three outfield positions.
Bell hit .255/.334/.466 with 26 doubles, 26 home runs and 90 RBI in 620 trips to the plate for the Pirates — appearing in all but three regular season games.
DeJong put up a .285/.325/.532 slash line for the Cardinals and accumulated 26 doubles, 25 home runs and 65 RBI over 443 plate appearances.
Bellinger is the odds-on favorite to win, and should he do so, he’ll become the second Dodgers player in as many years to take home Rookie of the Year honors (Corey Seager, 2016). He’ll also become the 17th player in franchise history to earn the award.
Other Dodgers to win the award include Don Newcombe (1949), Joe Black (1952), Jim Gilliam (1953), Frank Howard (1960), Jim Lefebvre (1965), Ted Sizemore (1969), Rick Sutcliffe (1979), Steve Howe (1980), Fernando Valenzuela (1981), Steve Sax (1982), Eric Karros (1992), Piazza (1993), Raul Mondesi (1994), Hideo Nomo (1995) and Todd Hollandsworth (1996).
American League and NL Rookies of the Year will be announced Monday, Nov. 13, at 3 p.m. PT on MLB Network. Boston’s Andrew Benintendi, Trey Mancini of the Boston Orioles, and New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge were named AL Rookie of the Year finalists.