Cody Bellinger just finished a season in which he won the National League MVP, a Silver Slugger, and a Gold Glove. Dodger fans were witnesses to a huge season from Bellinger, but what they didn’t see was the hunger and focus that got him to that point.
Clay Bellinger, Cody’s father, stopped by MLB Network Radio’s Power Alley to discuss his son’s success in 2019.
— MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (@MLBNetworkRadio) November 15, 2019
Aside from Cody’s home runs and offensive stats, Clay really focused on his son’s desire to prove himself on defense leading up to 2019. He said that when Cody first got called up to the big leagues, one of his goals was to win a Gold Glove. While he originally thought it would be at first base, the Dodgers began to move him around the outfield until they eventually put him in right field, where he truly shined defensively.
“He was an outfielder as a high schooler and in the minor leagues,” Clay said. “Once they got AJ [Pollock] last year, they said, ‘you know what, we’re going to move you over to right.”
Clay mentioned that while Cody was expecting to be the everyday centerfielder, he took the move in stride and eventually told his father, “you know what I really, really, really want to win a Gold Glove out in right field.”
Cody’s obsession with the award made itself clear to Clay when the Dodgers were planning to move him back to first base midway through 2019, and Cody checked to see if he had enough innings at right field to qualify for a Gold Glove at the position before agreeing to the switch.
“Of course he went back out to right field to play some games, but it really just goes to show how important it was to him,” Clay said. “He was really looking forward to at least getting a chance to win it.”
In the middle of the season, there were reports that the club had a focus on Bellinger’s ability to qualify for a Gold Glove. Perhaps that ultimately came from Cody himself. One thing is certain, the young slugger’s hunger motivated him to post one of the greatest seasons in LA Dodgers history.
Last off-season, DodgersNation.com discussed Bellinger’s work ethic with hitting strategist Brant Brown. The coach provided a foreshadowing to Cody’s impressive season, but ultimately for Bellinger, dad knows best.