On Tuesday, MLB Pipeline released their list of the Top 10 right-handed pitchers in the minors. Jose De Leon came in at number five.
On Wednesday, it was learned that Julio Urias was named the top left-handed pitcher in the minors according to the same publication.
Today, even more good news came down the pipeline – that is most definitely a pun – for the Los Angeles Dodgers, as a first base prospect of theirs slotted into the top ten.
6. Cody Bellinger, Dodgers
The son of former big leaguer Clay Bellinger switched from a line-drive approach and emphasized power last year, resulting in 30 homers and California League-leading totals of 97 runs and 103 RBIs. Bellinger’s lanky frame still has room to add a lot of strength, and he’s the best athlete and defender on this list.
If you’re wondering at all about Bellinger, he’s a 6’4″ and 180 pound first baseman that bats lefty and throws lefty. He spent all of 2015 at Class-A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga where he hit .264, finished with an .873 OPS, and did so while only being 19 years old.
The Dodgers selected Bellinger in the fourth round of the 2013 Draft, and all he’s done since then is give them reason for hope. He hit well in Rookie ball in both the Pioneer League and Arizona Fall League during 2014, which came after a tough first season for him, and he’s only added to his skill level.
As noted by Callis, he hit 30 home runs last season while still being, as Callis calls him, “lanky.” There’s room to grow there. His offensive-defensive makeup makes him one of the game’s most prized first base prospects, and that’s enough reason to give the Dodgers optimism at that position in the future.
It seems likely that Bellinger could begin the season at Double A, which would put him on a path to the bigs by 2018 or 2019, depending on how his skills progress and how he performs. The talent is surely there. And, when it is unlocked, the Dodgers should reap the rewards.