If you win the National League Most Valuable Player Award, your life is bound to change. Or at least that is what you might think. For the Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger, it’s business as usual after taking home the historic hardware.
In an interview with the OC Register, Bellinger talks about what has changed and what’s remained the same.
Got a little more money. Other than that, my lie hasn’t changed at all.
The “little more money” Bellinger is referring to is his one-year $11.5 million salary he agreed to with the Dodgers this offseason to avoid arbitration. That also happens to be the largest first-year arbitration salary in baseball’s history.
There is an inevitable change in Cody’s life though. After winning such a prestigious award, there’s no doubt that more is going to be expected of you. Bellinger had a fantastic year in 2019, to say the least. He crushed 47 homeruns and slashed a remarkable 305/406/629 in his third major league season. The Dodgers obviously benefitted from it, as Bellinger put up a nine wins above average figure.
Manager Dave Roberts knows the uphill battle he is facing in 2020 but isn’t worried in the least.
He set a new benchmark from himself. There’s expectations always from the outside- whether it be from a team or individually. But I think that there’s no more expectation a person puts on himself…than themselves.
It’s difficult to top an MVP year, that much is certain. Cody had a much less productive year in 2018, but obviously the tide has turned in a sense. The Dodgers have surrounded Bellinger with some offensive power, meaning he will see more pitches to hit in 2020.
With that in mind, it wouldn’t be so crazy to see Bellinger top his 2019 MVP campaign. He is currently 5 for 16 in spring with one homerun.