Who remembers that winter day in February when ESPN’s Keith Law said that Cody Bellinger needed to make an adjustment?
Then, it was a case of Law believing Bellinger needed to tweak his swing to hit lefties a little more. Now, Law has ranked his list of top-25 players in baseball under age-25. And guess who checks in at number one? To be fair, Law remembers his words on Bellinger, stating that he didn’t see this coming.
Cody Bellinger (Age: 23): I didn’t see this coming — and I was very high on Bellinger as a prospect, ranking him in my top five overall in his last year of eligibility. What I didn’t expect was for Bellinger to become a high-contact hitter. I figured we’d get walks, homers, strikeouts, elite defense at first or very good defense in center, but, yeah, strikeouts.
He has cut his strikeout rate nearly in half from 2017 to 2019 (so far). He also has gone from being a near-automatic out against left-handed pitchers (a .226/.306/.376 line in 2018) to Katy-bar-the-door vs. lefties (.355/.460/.720 this year).
One wonders if the 2017 World Series would have played out differently if this year’s version of Bellinger were in that Dodgers lineup.
While looking at the players listed below Bellinger on the list, one should realize this is a huge admission. Obviously, Bellinger has done enough to earn the top spot. What’s (painfully) interesting as well is Law speculates if the 2017 Dodgers had this version of Bellinger, things may have played out differently against the Astros in the 2017 World Series.
Indeed, another Dodgers player checks in on this list. In the number nine spot on the list is Walker Buehler – who figures to make up a key component of the Dodgers’ core for a long time along with Bellinger.
Enjoy Cody’s 27th Bellibomb of the year.
Cody Bellinger's 27th home run of the season ?
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 28, 2019
Give Your Opinion
So what do you think of Law’s ranking? Is Bellinger the top young talent in the sport today? Is there any facet of his game where he could get any better? Let us know in the comments below.