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Dodgers: Cody Bellinger Snubbed on MLB Player of the Year Nomination

Cody passed over by peers in vote.

Bellinger and Yelich are going to take the NL MVP race of 2019 down to the wire.

Depending on which outlet you look at, Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger was worth anywhere between 7.8-9.0 WAR in 2019. If you’re not keen to advanced stats, let’s just say that’s very, very good. The 9.0 mark from Baseball Reference is tops in all of baseball, and the 7.8 from FanGraphs is third in the game.

With an average over .300 (.305), 47 home runs, and 115 runs batted in this past season, it’s safe to identify Bellinger as one of the top players in the game.

Now we see that his peers didn’t see it that way.

The MLBPA nominated Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon, and Christian Yelich for the Player’s Choice “Player of the Year” award in 2019. Not to take away from the bodies of work that Rendon et al produced this season, but the fact that Trout or Yelich didn’t eclipse more than 134 games played should conceivably be taken into consideration.

Bellinger on the other hand appeared in 156 games. But really, this point is just nitpicking on the part of this writer.

Player Stats in 2019

From Baseball-Reference.com

PLAYER GAMES AVG HR RBI RUNS WAR
Bellinger 156 .305 47 115 121 9.0
Trout 134 .291 45 104 110 8.3
Yelich 130 .329 44 97 100 7.1
Rendon 146 .319 34 126 117 6.3

It should be noted that this award was voted on before the playoffs got underway, so for readers quick to point out Cody’s postseason performance, it didn’t play a factor.

Thank you to Bill Plunkett for being a leader on the front lines for that point.

While the slugger is still in the running for the National League MVP award — and is still considered by some to be the front runner to win it — this still stings just a bit.

What are your thoughts? Should Belli have gotten the better end of the stick?

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

24 Comments

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  1. .
    Belliger seems to get lost easily at the plate. Perhaps he needs more time off when this occurs to get right. He certainly isn’t the type of guy that can correct in a short time while playing.With the frequency of his lapses and the time it takes him to recover, a 7 WAR is unbelievable and the math needs checking.

  2. This is about writers voting and using stats that make them right. I thought it was about WAR during the regular season. Everyone touts WAR as the stat of all stats. Now, his 9 was best of everyone in MLB. Looks like East coast Bias will keep him out of any awards.

  3. Sorry. Belli was no more than an average hitter after the 1st 2 months of the season. Great defense but the hitting was not player of the year level. It should and was evaluated about the whole season. Same as the MVP award should be.

    • Sorry but you’re wrong. He was unbelievable months 1 and 2 and far beyond average for the rest. He totaled 32 HRs and maintained an OPS+ well above 140 in each month but August after. In August – by far his worse month – his OPS+ was 131. 100 is average.

  4. I agree it’s the whole year. His second half was terrible as far as batting. Fielding as much as he gets moved around he should get a gold glove ? at every position. During the off season he needs to adjust his hitting stance and hit more line drives to all fields as does the rest of the team!

  5. I don’t care about awards like this we got plenty. It stings not at all. What we don’t have plenty of is World Series trophies as we lag at 6 for the last 31 years

  6. To put it in perspective, use defense as the main barometer. That’s what wins games. Pitching and defense. The player of the year goes to Verlander. Hands down.

  7. Bellinger reverted to his normal level of performance after the Allstar game. He’s a good offensive player, a tremendous defensive player, and an above average base runner. He wasn’t “snubbed”. He was evaluated by people not on the Dodgers PR dept!

  8. OK it is called an average as it is the average of the whole season…it would be like saying he didn’t get a hit when he didn’t play…Still you can make a case for Beli, or,hopefully, our next third baseman…Trout and Yelich have good Rep’s…still cold numbers tell it all…so you gonna pick a allstar number 3 hitter or a clean up hitter ….

    • Look up the first half and second half numbers. Completely opposite season. First half he reached his full potential then in the second half threw everything out and went back to what he was in 2018 but even worse. An outsider looking at a .300 average would think you’re crazy for complaining but what they don’t know is that his average did nothing but dip 100 points from July to the end of season. I’m not saying he should’ve batted .400 for the year but he should’ve maintained a .330-.340 average if he continued doing what made him great instead of reverting. What were our coaches doing?

  9. The season was 162 games long, so one figures this award was for the body of work for the year. But of course they are not expecting those who are nominated to have had to play all 162 games, as nobody does that and certainly nobody on Dodgers will be in all 162. Bellinger’s 2nd half of the year speaks for itself so I get why he was not nominated.

    • They look at the full year not one great half. Trout Rendon and Yelich were all consistent for the full year

  10. His numbers were great but Yelich and Rendon had higher batting average. And all three nominees played on average 20 games less and still had almost the same numbers of HRs and more RBIs. His season was great but theirs simply was better.

  11. I can see where the players wouldn’t vote for him. He leaves the impression of being arrogant. He is still the best player in the NL. Gold Glove defense. Great baserunner. And top level offense. If he doesn’t win the MVP, it will be a shame. He CARRIED the team for 2 months. And the rest of the season he was a cohesive factor to our lineup. Without him, the domino effect would have been catastrophic. We had others out for periods of time and won 106 games. Seager missed time we won. Turner? We won. Taylor? We won. Muncy? We won. This guy is going to help get us back to the Series. Just let him get hot at the right time and he will again carry the team. Maybe next season will be the post season.

  12. As a follow up. We had a similar hitter in the early 80’s. He got snubbed for the MVP. 1985. Pedro Guerrero CARRIED LA for 2 months that season. And had a good rest of the year–until he got hurt and missed 25 games. He finished 3rd in MVP voting. We needed a single. He got a single. An RBI an RBI. And so on. But finished third. The players should have taken that into account. Yelich and Trout.

  13. When your peers are voting you don’t need to sit down and look at numbers and compare stats. They know who is the s*** and who isn’t. It’s easier to forget the first two months of a season when everyone has playoff expectations than the last two months of a long season and the reality of your team just sucks that your on.

  14. After June 1st of 2019 ~ the last 4 months of the season Bellinger hit his normal career average of .260 including the playoffs…. thats the drop off folks are concerned about…. far fewer base hits and contact to any field but right…. he was a dead pull hitter…..I still think he is the MVP in the NL with his Gold glove defense which he will get IMO ~ his first gold glove award. But after the first two months of the year Cody reverted back to less contact of his previous 2 seasons. Had Cody continued even with a .280 average the last 4 months he would have hit 55 and drivin’ in 130…… His pace slowed tremendously.

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