Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Calls Cody Bellinger ‘Gold-Glove Caliber First Baseman’
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Joc Pederson. Corey Seager. And now Cody Bellinger. The trio share the title of being the Los Angeles Dodgers top hitting prospect to join the club in big league camp during Spring Training in recent years. Much like his predecessors, Bellinger has quickly made a name for himself.

This year is Bellinger’s second go-around in big league camp with the Dodgers. He batted .393/.541/.679 with two doubles, two home runs, four RBI and nine walks in 18 games last spring. The 21-year-old is hitting .261/.370/.391 with one home run, two RBI and four walks in 10 games thus far in 2017.

Beyond Bellinger’s production on the field, his presence in the clubhouse isn’t lost on Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “The bloodlines, having a father who was a big leaguer, and just the way he carries himself in our clubhouse and on the field, he’s a big-league ballplayer,” Roberts recently said.

The second-year manager has deployed one of the organization’s top prospects at first base, left field and right field. Bellinger is lauded for the versatility, but first base remains his calling card.

“He’s a Gold-Glove caliber first baseman. That goes without saying,” Roberts said. “The bat is obviously huge power. Cody is doing a great job of just continuing to try to get better. When his opportunity presents itself, he’ll be ready.”

‘When’ could be as early as this season. The Dodgers have an ironman at first base in Adrian Gonzalez, though the team is hopeful to get the veteran to take more days for rest. The first call for a backup would not be to Triple-A Oklahoma City for Bellinger’s promotion, but he in theory could force the organization’s hand into an earlier-than-expected call-up.

Such was the case last season with Julio Urias and in some regard Brock Stewart, Ross Stripling and Jose De Leon. Of course, that required extraordinary measures — historic number of injuries.

No matter, Bellinger’s arrival with the Dodgers appears to be around the corner. Whether it means filling in at any of the three outfield positions or first base.