Los Angeles Dodgers bright-eyed slugger Cody Bellinger has gone yard again. That’s nothing new for the rookie phenom. Hitting home runs seems like its what Bellinger is called to do. Bellinger continues to shatter through records with his hot bat. Just ask the San Francisco Giants or any other ballclub in Major League Baseball.
The son of former major league player Clay (Yankees and Angels) and fourth round pick of the 2013 MLB Draft (by then-general manager Ned Colletti), here are some of 22-year-old Cody’s accomplishments since he made his debut on April 25.
Bellinger, an Arizona native, ended his first week in the majors by homering twice in the same game and hit 21 home runs in 51 games faster than any player in big league history. And he set the Dodgers’ all-time home run record for a rookie, passing Mike Piazza who hit 35 in 1993.
After winning National League Player of the Week after his second week, teammate Justin Turner, after returning from the disabled list, decided to use one of Bellinger’s bats and homered in his first at-bat.
Bellinger leads the team in home runs (37) (second behind Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton (54) in the National League), and runs-batted-in (83), and became the first Dodgers rookie to hit for the cycle – single, double, triple and home run – in a 7-1 win over the Marlins.
He has six multi-home run games this season. The most multi-HR games by a rookie in a season are seven by Mark McGwire in 1987 while with Oakland. Bellinger has the most home runs by a rookie in the seventh inning or later in modern major league history (since 1900).
He was the youngest position player to ever represent the Dodgers when he participated in this years All-Star game.
Here’s what’s being said about him in the Dodgers clubhouse: Manager Dave Roberts has called Bellinger the team’s savior. He “rejuvenated” the Dodgers, Turner said. His performance “lifted everybody els up,” Chase Utley said. “His presence in the lineup was definitely needed,” Clayton Kershaw said. “It helped stabilize us.”
Since Bellingers debut, the Dodgers have the best record in baseball, even though they are in the midst of an end-of-season slump, having a 10 game losing streak.
Baseball genetics runs deep in the Bellinger family. His brother Cole was drafted by San Diego in the 15th round of the 2017 draft. They were both standouts at Hamilton High School in Chandler, Arizona and Cody also played in the 2007 Little League World Series.
He’s come a long way since then and hoping to experience a deep run into the playoffs.
Steven LIeberman is a veteran sports/arts/entertainment journalist. Lieberman has covered entertainment and professional sports, Including the NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball, for the past 14 years. Among his entertainment work, Lieberman covers concerts, theatre and events.