Recently, I attempted to put into perspective what kind of season Cody Bellinger had for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2019.
‘Basically, he was Mike Trout this year. He did Mike Trout things all year,’ I said to the person. While that seemed to suffice, it was a little inaccurate. Indeed, his stat line was Trout-esque. However, Bellinger played elite defense at three different positions on the baseball diamond.
Moreover, his value in doing so is being talked about by Jorge Castillo of the LA Times.
Cody Bellinger's MVP credentials include superior defense at three positions https://t.co/JtClTbQxT6
— L.A. Times Sports (@latimessports) September 29, 2019
Additionally, his manager Dave Roberts was staunch in his support for his player. Furthermore, he made a short case for why Bellinger is the league’s most valuable.
You’re talking about the best player on the best team in the National League. And that encompasses, in the batter’s box, the runs scored, the runs driven in, homers, the impact that he has.
Defensively, he’s going to win the Gold Glove in right field this year. Could have won it at first base, in center field. The versatility that he provides is very valuable in the sense of that award.
Indeed, it’s hard to sum it up more succinctly than Roberts does to Castillo there. All season long, I noticed and talked about Bellinger’s different ways to beat the opponent. For instance, there were weeks he wouldn’t hit. Then, he would walk and steal a base or make a game-changing defensive play.
His skill set – which is partially made-up of his positional versatility – makes him a rare diamond in the game of baseball.
If you’re a team blessed enough to be able to run Bellinger out at one of those three spots 150 times in the regular season, the results will show up. Which is why his 9.0 bWAR will go down as one of the all-time elite seasons in Dodger history.
In 2019, you were treated to watching a true 5-tool, two-way player who could do it all. From start to finish, Bellinger showcased every skill there is on a baseball field. Hopefully, he’s recognized for his contributions to the Dodgers with an MVP award in November for doing so.