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Dodgers: Cody Bellinger Faces a Tough Challenge Following an MVP Year

The Dodgers outfielder is adjusting to a life after winning the NL MVP.



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

NEXT: Dodgers Injuries: Mookie Remains Out, Joc Progressing

Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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    • Hey Paul, hopefully Roberts just lets these guys settle in. Hopefully Bellinger focuses on hitting the ball the other way, and cut down on his strike outs. He had a great season last year, probably didn’t deserve the M.V.P. , so I believe he can actually have even a better season. Better meaning focusing on clutch A.B.’s and driving the ball all over the field. Having Betts on base constantly and in scoring position will challenge Cody’s ability to come through when it counts, like in October. Some of these guys need to focus on scoring when they have to, meaning giving up on the idea of winning with one swing, and more on putting the ball in play, which in turn will mean less strikeouts.

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