Cody Bellinger: ROY, MVP, two-time All-Star, Silver Slugger and Gold Glove award winner. Not at all bad for his first 3 seasons in the league. After an all-time great Dodgers season in 2019, the 24-year-old was spotted proudly flaunting off one aspect of his wares.
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) February 20, 2020
h/t to Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register for the image.
Bellinger talked about what bringing home the award meant to him in early November. Importantly, he referenced that Rawlings patch above.
I’m not going to lie, it’s pretty cool to me. I’ve always wanted the gold (logo) on my glove. … I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was really happy about this.
Thankfully for the young slugger, LA’s willingness to stick with him in the outfield may have proven to be a difference maker. In July of last year, there were talks about moving Bellinger back to first base, but the club’s desire for him to win the Gold Glove award kept him in the outfield.
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Of course, Cody had an otherworldly 2019 season. The offensive stats were certainly exceptional — .305/.406/.629, 121 runs scored, 34 doubles, 47 home runs, 115 runs batted in, and 9 wins above replacement (per Baseball-Reference) — but his defense was elite wherever you put him.
Bellinger put up 7 Outs Above Average (OAA) per Statcast and 26 combined Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) per Fangraphs. His 19 defensive runs saved in right field were tops in baseball, and good for third-best among MLB outfielders. Importantly, he accumulated that total in close to 300 fewer innings than the high-mark outfielder.
Moreover, he added 4 more DRS in 230 total innings at first base, and another 3 in centerfield.
Add it all up and you win a Gold Glove award in the National League.