Cody Bellinger became the Los Angeles Dodgers’ first position player to win the National League MVP Award since Kirk Gibson in 1988, besting Milwaukee Brewers right fielder Christian Yelich and Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon.
Overall, Bellinger is the 14th player in franchise history to win MVP, just the sixth to earn the honor since their move from Brooklyn, and is the youngest Dodgers player to ever receive the award.
He joined Johnny Bench, Fred Lynn and Dustin Pedroia as players to win Rookie of the Year, a Gold Glove and MVP before turning 25 years old. Simply put, Bellinger was rewarded for a remarkable season and at the plate.
He also was not alone in representing the Dodgers on the final NL MVP ballot. Max Muncy received one vote apiece for eighth place and 10th place, tying for 15th overall with four points. Hyun-Jin Ryu garnered one eight-place vote and finished 19th in MVP voting.
Last year Muncy garnered one seventh-place vote and two for ninth, totaling eight points. It came after a breakout rookie season that Muncy built upon in 2019.
He focused on putting last year’s success behind him and that focus contributed to Muncy earning a first career All-Star Game selection.
Ryu also had one of the better seasons of his career in 2019, which included being named the NL starter for the All-Star Game. He became the first Korean born pitcher to receive the honor for a Midsummer Classic.
Ryu’s dominance in the first half had him running away with the Cy Young Award, but regression in August opened the door for New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom to repeat as winner. Ryu also came up short for NL Outstanding Pitcher and Comeback Player of the Year in the Players Choice Awards.
He nonetheless figures to receive a lucrative contract in free agency. Ryu indicated he’s seeking a three- or four-year deal, which could align well with the Dodgers’ preferences if they decide against stretching themselves on a long-term contract for the likes of Gerrit Cole or Stephen Strasburg.
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