Dodgers fans have been wondering what happened to Cody Bellinger, the former National League MVP who has struggled to find his form in recent years. Bellinger burst onto the scene in 2017 as a rookie sensation, hitting .267 with 39 home runs and 97 RBIs. He followed that up with a remarkable 2019 campaign, hitting .305 with 47 homers and 115 RBIs en route to winning the NL MVP award.
However, since then, Bellinger has struggled to replicate that success. He hit just .239 in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season and has been even worse in 2021, hitting .165 with just four home runs in 50 games. The Dodgers have tried to give him time to work through his struggles, but with the team fighting for a playoff spot, they may not be able to afford to wait much longer. So, what exactly happened to Cody Bellinger, and can he find his way back to being the player he once was? Let’s take a closer look.
Early Life and Career
Cody Bellinger was born on July 13, 1995, in Scottsdale, Arizona, to parents Clay and Jennifer Bellinger. His father, Clay, played in the major leagues for the New York Yankees and Anaheim Angels. Baseball was in Cody’s blood from a young age, and he began playing tee-ball at just four years old.
Bellinger attended Hamilton High School in Chandler, Arizona, where he played baseball and basketball. He was a standout player on the baseball team, hitting .429 with 12 home runs and 53 RBIs in his senior year. Despite his success, Bellinger was not heavily recruited by college programs and committed to play at the University of Oregon.
In the 2013 MLB Draft, the Los Angeles Dodgers selected Bellinger in the fourth round, 124th overall. He opted to sign with the Dodgers instead of attending college. Bellinger began his professional career in the Dodgers’ minor league system, playing for teams such as the Ogden Raptors and the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes.
Bellinger’s talent was evident from the start, as he quickly rose through the ranks of the Dodgers’ minor league system. In 2017, he made his major league debut with the Dodgers and quickly became a fan favorite in Los Angeles. He helped lead the Dodgers to the World Series that year, hitting .267 with four home runs and 12 RBIs in the postseason.
Since then, Bellinger has established himself as one of the best players in baseball, earning two All-Star selections and a National League MVP award in 2019. Despite struggling with injuries and a dip in performance in recent years, Bellinger remains a key player for the Dodgers and a fan favorite in Los Angeles.
Cody Bellinger is a talented baseball player who has achieved a lot in his career. He has won several awards and accolades throughout his time in the Major Leagues. Here are some of his major achievements:
National League Rookie of the Year
In 2017, Bellinger won the National League Rookie of the Year award. He hit 39 home runs in his rookie season, which was a record for a National League rookie. He also batted .267 and had 97 RBIs.
National League Most Valuable Player
In 2019, Bellinger won the National League Most Valuable Player award. He hit 47 home runs and batted .305 with 115 RBIs. He also won a Gold Glove award for his excellent defense in the outfield.
Gold Glove Awards
Bellinger has won two Gold Glove awards in his career. He won his first Gold Glove in 2019 and his second in 2020. He is known for his excellent defense in the outfield and has made several highlight-reel catches throughout his career.
Bellinger was also a mid- and postseason all-star in 2015 with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, helping the team to a California League championship title. Additionally, he was a member of the 2020 World Series-winning Los Angeles Dodgers team.
Bellinger has had a successful career so far, and his achievements speak for themselves.
Cody Bellinger is a talented baseball player who has had an impressive career so far. Let’s take a look at some of his career statistics and accomplishments.
- OPS: Bellinger has a career OPS of .891, which is above average.
- WAR: He has a career WAR of 19.8, which is very good.
- Home Runs: Bellinger has hit 161 home runs in his career, including 9 in the current season.
- RBI: He has driven in 451 runs in his career, with 29 this season.
- Plate Appearances: Bellinger has had 2838 plate appearances in his career, with 211 this season.
- Doubles: He has hit 119 doubles in his career, with 10 this season.
- Exit Velocity: Bellinger has an average exit velocity of 90.5 mph, which is above average.
- Fly Balls: He has hit 45.2% fly balls in his career, which is higher than average.
- Launch Angle: Bellinger has an average launch angle of 15.4 degrees, which is slightly above average.
As we can see, Bellinger has been a consistent performer throughout his career, with impressive numbers in many categories. He has won several awards, including a Gold Glove, a Silver Slugger, and an NLCS MVP. Bellinger is a valuable player who has helped his team win many games, and he will likely continue to be a force in the league for years to come.
Injury History and Impact
Cody Bellinger has had a rough time with injuries in recent years. In 2021, he was limited for most of Spring Training due to offseason arthroscopic surgery on his right (non-throwing) shoulder. This injury likely contributed to the dip in power and skills changes he experienced throughout the season.
In May 2023, Bellinger suffered a left knee injury after making a spectacular catch during a game against the Houston Astros. He was removed from the game and placed on the injured list. This injury was a setback for Bellinger, who had just returned to the lineup after missing several games due to a bruised left knee.
In addition to these recent injuries, Bellinger has also dealt with a hairline fracture in his leg and hamstring tightness in the past. These injuries have forced him to undergo rehab and miss significant playing time.
The impact of Bellinger’s injuries has been felt by both him and the Dodgers. When he is healthy and playing at his best, Bellinger is a key contributor to the team’s success. However, his injuries have prevented him from playing consistently and performing at his highest level.
Bellinger’s injury history highlights the physical toll that playing professional baseball can take on a player’s body. Despite these setbacks, Bellinger remains a talented and resilient athlete who is determined to overcome his injuries and continue to contribute to his team’s success.
Cody Bellinger’s performance has been a topic of concern for Dodgers fans and baseball enthusiasts alike. Let’s take a closer look at his performance in recent years and try to understand what went wrong.
Hitting and Home Runs
Bellinger’s hitting has been inconsistent in recent years. After winning the MVP in 2019, he struggled to replicate that success in 2020 and 2021. His home run numbers also took a dip, going from 47 in 2019 to just 10 in 2021. This drop in power was a significant factor in his overall decline in performance.
At-Bats and Spring Training
Bellinger’s at-bats have been a cause for concern, as he has struggled to make consistent contact with the ball. In spring training of 2022, he hit just .182 with one home run in 44 at-bats. This slow start to the season raised further questions about his overall performance.
Hitting Coaches and Swing Mechanics
The Dodgers have tried to address Bellinger’s hitting woes by bringing in different hitting coaches and working on his swing mechanics. However, these efforts have not yielded significant results so far. It remains to be seen whether these changes will have a positive impact on his performance in the future.
Bellinger’s decline in performance can be attributed to a combination of factors, including a drop in power, inconsistent hitting, and struggles with at-bats. While the Dodgers are trying to address these issues, it remains to be seen whether Bellinger can regain his MVP form.
Teammates and Coaching Influence
Cody Bellinger’s struggles at the plate have been a topic of discussion for the past few seasons. While injuries have played a role in his decline, his teammates and coaching staff have also had an impact on his performance.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has been vocal about Bellinger’s struggles and has worked with him to make adjustments to his swing. Mookie Betts, who joined the Dodgers in 2020, has also been a positive influence on Bellinger. Betts’ approach at the plate and his work ethic have rubbed off on Bellinger, who has been seen working with him before games.
In addition to his teammates, Bellinger has also worked with hitting coaches to try and get back on track. Chris Taylor and Sheldon Neuse have both worked with Bellinger on his swing, and their efforts have shown some improvement.
While Bellinger’s struggles have been frustrating for Dodgers fans, it’s important to remember that he is still a young player with a lot of potential. With the right guidance and support, he could bounce back and become the player he was in 2019 when he won the National League MVP award.
It’s also worth noting that Bellinger’s struggles are not unique. Even the best players in the league, like Mike Trout, go through slumps. It’s all part of the game, and with hard work and dedication, Bellinger can overcome his struggles and become a valuable asset to the Dodgers or any MLB team.
Recently, there were rumors that the Chicago Cubs were interested in Bellinger, but it remains to be seen if he will be traded or stay with the Dodgers. Regardless of where he ends up, his teammates and coaching staff will continue to support him and help him reach his full potential.
Current Situation and Future Prospects
Cody Bellinger, the outfielder who spent his early career with the Dodgers, has had a tumultuous few years. After a standout 2019 season, he struggled with injuries and performance issues in 2020 and 2021. He signed a one-year deal with the Cubs for the 2023 season, hoping to rebound and prove himself as a valuable player once again.
Bellinger’s time with the Cubs has been a mixed bag so far. He has shown flashes of his former self, hitting a few home runs and making some impressive defensive plays. However, he has also struggled with consistency and strikeout issues, leading some fans to question his value to the team.
Despite these struggles, Bellinger remains a talented player with a lot of potential. He has shown that he can be a valuable asset to a team when he is healthy and playing at his best. If he can continue to improve his performance and stay healthy, he could be a valuable addition to any team in need of outfield help.
Looking ahead, Bellinger’s future is uncertain. He is set to become a free agent after the 2023 season, and it remains to be seen whether the Cubs will offer him a new contract or if he will explore other options. Some fans have speculated that he could be a good fit for the Padres, who play in the spacious Petco Park and are in need of outfield help. Others have suggested that he could find success in Arizona or with another team in need of a strong outfielder.
Bellinger’s future in Major League Baseball is still up in the air. However, he remains a talented player with a lot of potential, and it will be interesting to see where his career takes him in the coming years.