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Dodgers: Has Cody Bellinger Surpassed Mike Trout?

The Athletic Collects Opinions On Which Player Is Baseball’s Best

What would have seemed a pretty insane notion just months ago, doesn’t seem so crazy now. At the current time, Cody Bellinger has a 5.4 bWAR. While this puts him on pace for over a 15 bWAR in a full season, it trumps Mike Trout (3.4 bWAR) and any other player by a large margin.

So, is it fair to at least have the conversation? Kevin Millar of MLB Network is calling Cody the most dominant player in baseball, but has Bellinger moved ahead of Trout as baseball’s top all-around player right now?

Many on twitter – such as national writer Joel Sherman – have began to delve into this topic. Interestingly enough, the responses seem mixed.

However, the topic is on the mind of those who cover the Los Angeles Dodgers on a daily basis too. For example, Pedro Moura writes about it at The Athletic. Within an interesting read, Moura talks to a former teammate of Trout’s who has watched Bellinger up close recently.

That player is New York Mets reliever Hector Santiago. While the Mets have been at Chavez Ravine to play the Dodgers this week, he’s had a scouting eye on Bellinger. Here’s his initial response.

“If he can keep up what he’s doing right now, he’s probably passing Trout,” Santiago said of Bellinger. “I don’t think Trout has kept up a .380 average. And, watching those two throws last night, Bellinger has a better arm than Trouty.”

Furthermore, it isn’t just Bellinger’s raw physical talent that impresses Santiago. Santiago gave mention to an at-bat when Bellinger popped out with the bases loaded on Memorial Day. The manner in which Bellinger seemed to handle failure impressed his fellow big league veteran.

“Guys get out, they run down the line kind of upset,” Santiago said. “He got out yesterday with a couple of guys on base, and he was like, ‘Yeah, I missed that. That was my pitch. I was right on that. The way I’m going right now, that should be a double into the gap or a homer over the wall.’”

Finally, Santiago compared Trout during a hot-stretch to what the Dodgers outfielder has been doing. And if you’re wondering, he says the high average won’t hold up.

“When Trouty was locked in, if there was a pitch in his zone, he didn’t miss it,” he said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen Trouty hit .380 for two months, but .330 or .340, and there were two-week stretches where he was hitting .450. It’s still tough to keep a .380 average, I don’t care who you are, for two months. This close to .400, obviously it’s not going to hold up that long.”

Obviously, to come to any type of conclusion on this subject at the current time would be next to impossible. The jury is out on Bellinger – and while I have my own personal feelings on the subject – more time for observation is needed.

Bellinger has done things on a regular enough (almost nightly) basis to ponder the question without sounding insane. There are two different conversations that this subject often branches into as well.

First, is the matter if Bellinger is the top player in baseball at the current moment. The second I see people debate is if Bellinger will have a career that mirrors that of Mike Trout. It’s important not to confuse the two.

Sound Off: Bellinger/Trout Debate

So what do you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section. And I won’t leave you hanging with my feelings on the subject. Indeed, I think in a year’s time; Bellinger could be baseball’s top player if what we are seeing currently is close to real. How could he not be? However, we are a long ways from that. And once he reaches that zenith – is it for a year? Two years? It’s a hard title to claim and then define.

Equally important, I don’t see Bellinger sustaining the longevity of success that Trout has for various reasons.

That’s no knock on Cody. It’s within the realm of possibility which makes this all exciting. But few players in any lifetime will ever morph into the monster that is Trout.

Written by Clint Evans

Clint lives in Ohio, and played collegiate baseball. He loves the Dodgers due to his first memories of Chavez Ravine when he was nine years old. The voice of Vin Scully has been a staple in his life since he was a kid. No amount of baseball talk is ever enough, and he wishes the regular season was year round. He has written about baseball online since 2007.

17 Comments

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  1. Of course he’s surpassed Trout. With the Angels record of less than .500, Trout has little to play for and less pressure in the game. Not to mention his only appearance in the playoffs was 2014 and they got swept! Yes, baseball is a team sport and Trout’s complacency to stay with a losing team may show dedication to the franchise but there’s no ambition there. Sure, go ahead and stay on a team and step up to the plate each time with no pressure and knock in runs but for what? To lose? Whereas Bellinger is making crucial offensive and defensive plays to win games and help get his team to the playoffs. Isn’t that the whole point here? Bellinger has by all means surpassed Trout ‘in the moment’ and anyone who argues that can go fishing at the end of the season when the Angels fail to make the playoffs once again. See what I did there?

    • He hasn’t even come close to surpassing TROUT! This topic is lame!! Talk to me after doing this for 7 years straight. Come on now!! Why play for a team that can’t win a World Series when they get there. Texas Rangers have a support group for this kind of failure. lol

  2. Bellinger is having one helluva season, but surpassing Mike Trout, I don’t think so. It was this time last year we had talk of Mookie surpassing Trout. A quick look shows his OPS is 200 points lower than last season right now. To pass Trout you’ve gotta do it at least 3-4 seasons in row to even consider this notion. Bellinger is having a great season and could be better than any individual Trout season, but this is his first above 1.000, a little early to even make this comparison IMO.

    • E very year it is someone better then Trout, then the next year or two years later that person is not even mentioned again in the same sentence. First Miggy, then Donaldson, Betts know Bellinger. Who is going to be next year’s flavor against Trout?

  3. I live on the central coast of California, but a SoCal guy for my first 27 years. The Trout/Bellinger conversation is moot. I love my Dodgers and my Angels, so to have the two finest, or at least, two of the finest, on ‘my’ teams? Sa-weet!

  4. It’s sort of like saying Roger Maris and Sammy Sosa are “greater” than Babe Ruth because they hit more home runs in a single season. Ruth did what he did for well over a decade, so the comparisons make no sense. Mike Trout has been the best player in baseball since his rookie year. There’s no reason to think he’ll slow down during his prime years. So in terms of a career, it will be almost impossible for Bellinger to catch Trout. It is possible that Bellinger may have a higher peak than Trout, but that remains to be seen. But even if Bellinger has several 12 WAR seasons, something that has never been done, he can’t catch Trout if he’s having 10 WAR seasons.

    Bellinger would have to play like Ruth for more than a decade, to make any meaningful gains on Trout, in terms of a career.

    • WOW! Play like Ruth for a decade to reach Trout? What if he just plays like Trout for a decade? I can only speak for me, but I am basing very little of this on home runs – this is more about seeing a complete player. One that can run, throw, hit (for average and power) and do things to help you win in a number of ways on a nightly basis. The home runs of course make the highlight reels. But Bellinger’s all around play has been incredible.

  5. I love all of my Dodgers, but there is truly something special brewing with Bellinger. I said in a previous post that we are watching “greatness in the making.” As far as Bellinger matching Trout….whom I respect (although I am neutral about the Angels.)….I don’t know. But for me, it doesn’t matter. All I know is that Bellinger is achieving defensive and offensive prowess that is currently off the charts. And we are so lucky to have him, as well as the combined talent of the other guys, on our team. Go Cody and Go Dodgers!

    • There is an article today of which I believe we will touch on – about Bellinger having thus far – the greatest season ever.

  6. Folks, it’s not necessary to do comparisons right now concerning Bellinger with Trout or anyone else. I admit that when season began I, along with a few others wanted him at 1st base. But he IS as of now anyway the best RF in the game. and what I like most of all about THE MAN on this club is he has 7 HR’s already against LHP alone!

    • Yes, Paul. The pro’s won out with that decision. He’s had a greater impact in RF than he would have had at 1B (where I wanted him).

    • I was pretty excited about Puig’s first month – and it was record setting in it’s own right. That said, I never felt like Puig’s ceiling was ‘best player in the game’ if I am being honest. He was just exciting. Bellinger has shown another (several) dimensions in his game.

  7. Cody has way more talent than trout.Covers more in outfield and has a stronger arm yes he’s better than trout.

  8. Cody bellinger is having a great season so far, but he is still 54.1 WAR and two MVP awards behind Trout. Remember Trout is just 27 years and he has one of the best WAR of all times, Bellinger is 23 right now and if he wants to reach Trout he must have four seasons with 13 WAR, I think this is almost impossible.

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