After an MVP campaign in 2019 where he hit .305/.406/.629 with 47 home runs, Cody Bellinger has been unable to replicate his success at the plate.
The two-time All-Star has batted just .203/.272/.376 with 46 doubles, 41 home runs and 134 RBI over 295 games since being recognized as the National League’s top player. Bellinger did slightly bounce back from the worst season of his career in 2021, but he was still far below league-average.
That led to the Los Angeles Dodgers non-tendering Bellinger, which immediately made him a free agent.
Now as he looks to sign a new contract, Bellinger has also been busy working out at Oklahoma State with Matt Holliday, a seven-time All-Star who has since retired, and his son Jackson Holliday, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft by the Baltimore Orioles, via Trey Hannam, the founder of Baseball IQ:
Bellinger hitting at Oklahoma State with Jackson Holliday + Matt Holliday 👀
Bellinger is from AZ, special trip to get better? Matt Carpenter did the same thing last off-season pic.twitter.com/OGfVASMdiJ
— Trey Hannam (@TJHannam10) December 2, 2022
As Hannam points out, Matt Carpenter followed a similar path last season before having a resurgent year for the New York Yankees. After three consecutive seasons of below-average production, the 36-year-old hit .305/.412/.727 with a 217 wRC+ in 36 games before landing on the 60-day injured list with a foot injury.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman believes the club can help Bellinger get back on track as well, but they still elected to make him a free agent rather than pay him nearly $20 million.
The 27-year-old has drawn interest from roughly a dozen teams, and he is looking to sign a one-year deal to rebuild his value and enter free agency again as a 28-year-old, which would put him in prime position to land a significant contract if he is able to rebound.
Scott Boras believes strength training will benefit Cody Bellinger
Scott Boras, Bellinger’s agent, believes a full offseason of strength training could help his client get back on the right track.
Bellinger was among the many players affected by the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, which ended with him dislocating his right shoulder in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series.
The hope is that with another full offseason removed from the injury, Bellinger can return to his previous form and become a difference-maker again.
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