People know about Cody Bellinger, right? You know, the guy who just became the fastest ever to reach 21 homers last night. It's tough to tell. In my own little baseball world he's the hottest thing ever right now, but casual MLB fans in Boston may not know about the 21-year-old rookie, or at least may not be aware of how good he's been this year. That's what happens when a star plays out on the west coast. He gets underappreciated. Can you imagine if Mike Trout played for the Red Sox? Or if Clayton Kershaw pitched in New York?
Anyways, Bellinger entered the season as a consensus top prospect, but has obviously surpassed expectations. In addition to his 21 homers he is slashing .269/.340/.658 to go along with a .998 OPS. Okay so a quick scouting report on him...his stance is tall and upright, and his swing (which is fucking beautiful when he gets a hold of one) creates natural loft to allow him to hit for power. It's a bit long, which will result in plenty of strikeouts, but the Dodgers can live with that if he's patient enough to also take his walks. Defensively he has played both first base and left field this season. He's better at first where he actually ranks as a tremendous defender. It's strange, you don't usually think of guys being able to be elite defensively at first, but that goes to show how good of an athlete this kid is.
Bellinger currently leads the National League in home runs, despite spending 2017 in the minors until April 25th. So he essentially spotted the rest of the NL, which includes elite power hitters like Bryce Harper and Nolan Arenado, a three week head start yet he is still leading in home runs. The only player to currently have more homers than Bellinger is fellow rookie Aaron Judge, but Bellinger has the most since his call up to LA. If you want more #BellingerPorn, well he's also the fourth player 21 or younger to hit 20 homers before the All-Star break. The others in that group? Eddie Mathews, Albert Pujols, and Miguel Cabrera. Pretty good company.
As for the Dodgers, this is just a case of a loaded team getting even better. LA is rich enough to be able to re-sign Kenley Jansen, Justin Turner, and Rich Hill this winter. And they're smart enough to supplement their veterans with young talent such as Bellinger, Corey Seager, and Julio Urias. Led by Bellinger's two-homer game on Monday night (his fifth multi-homer game already) the Dodgers are now just a half game back of the Rockies in a loaded NL West. The Rockies, Dodgers, and Diamondbacks currently have three of the four best records in all of baseball. Bellinger has the NL Rookie of the Year race pretty much wrapped up already, and LA will have to hope he stays hot when the Rockies visit them this weekend. Since his call up the Dodgers have the best record in baseball and are fifth in runs per game.