I recently examined the possibility of Cody Bellinger hitting 40 home runs in 2018. Things such as Bellinger’s launch angle, swing adjustments, using the entire field and his fly ball percentage were all reasons that I believed he could accomplish this feat in his upcoming sophomore season.
What went unmentioned was the work ethic and commitment that Bellinger made to getting stronger. Hearing Dodger’s manager Dave Roberts giving some weight (no pun) to the topic; I realize that I might have overlooked one of the most important aspects of a young power hitter’s game: preparation.
Roberts spoke recently to Spectrum SportsNet LA about the team’s dedication to conditioning as well as nutrition. He cited several players while highlighting his 22-year old superstar as the tone-setter. At around the 4:20 mark in this video, the manager gives detail when asked about Bellinger’s recent work that allowed him to add 15 pounds over the winter.
“I think there’s a willingness and desire to get better. And that’s something that’s innate in Cody. To understand the year he had but still realize there’s a level two or three that he could get to, so yeah, to put on that good weight and watch his diet, as a young player shows a lot of maturity. It’s going to be fun to watch him try to reach his ceiling. He’s always trying to get better, he’s all about the team. I like riding him in the lineup, I know that.”
One of the young franchise cornerstones has assumed a leadership role in regards to conditioning. This is not something often seen around baseball. It’s also comforting to know that if you take Roberts at his word, no one is resting on the laurels of last seasons’s accomplishments.
The Visual Results of Bellinger’s Winter Conditioning:
There are probably some of you that wonder if we will be able to tell a visual difference in Bellinger’s stature. Dodgers Nation pulls out all the stops, offering the most recent photo of Bellinger from this past weekend shown below.
Cody Bellinger added 15 pounds of muscle this offseason. pic.twitter.com/SJ3UtXy1vL
— Clint (@DiamondHoggers) February 1, 2018
The guy who figures to spend most nights hitting fourth in the lineup certainly looks battle-ready. This type of dedication will serve him well in a durability capacity as he moves forward in his career and ages into his prime years.
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