We are nearly into June, and Cody Bellinger is hitting .405 in 2019. Indeed, you read that correctly.
Surely – Bellinger has been barreling a lot of baseballs – but there’s more than just a pretty swing to thank for his success this season.
MLB.com’s David Adler is focused on Bellinger’s speed, one of his tools that may not be talked enough about. However, we plan to do that right here.
Let’s look at an example of when Bellinger’s sprint speed earned him a base hit.
Cody Bellinger has *12* home-to-1st times under 4 seconds this season. That's the most of any player.
Five turned into infield hits.
His average sprint speed on those five: 30.3 ft/sec. 30+ is elite speed. pic.twitter.com/SaMq6nxI7c
— David Adler (@_dadler) May 20, 2019
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Therefore, Adler tells us after some stat-digging that Bellinger has some of the best wheels in the entire game. Take a look at the list of names below.
If you can get down the first-base line in under four seconds, that’s serious speed — the type of speed that can turn groundouts into infield hits, and make bunting for a hit a weapon at your disposal. Bellinger has that extra dimension. He has the most sub-4 home-to-first times of any player this season.
Most sub-4-second home-to-1st times, 2019
1) Cody Bellinger (LAD): 12
2) Kevin Kiermaier (TB): 8
3-T) Billy Hamilton (KC): 7
3-T) Dee Gordon (SEA): 7
3-T) Delino DeShields (TEX): 7
Now, if this was a game of ‘one of these things does not belong here’; one might speculate that Bellinger wouldn’t be amongst names like Hamilton, Gordon, and Deshields. However – if you click through to the article – you will see that Bellinger’s sprint speed times are right there with the fastest players in the game.
On “max-effort” runs — a player’s most competitive plays, where he really has a reason to bust it down the line — Bellinger’s average home-to-first time this season is 3.86 seconds. That’s fourth-fastest of any player with at least five qualifying max-effort runs.
Adler goes on to tell us what speed can do for a player’s batting average. Equally important, as the season wears on; this tool should result in a few more hits for Bellinger. In fact, the nine extra hits Bellinger’s speed earned him is the difference in his .405 average now, and a .350 average.
Finally, it’s never been more evident that the Dodgers have a true five-tool player here. With some players, that term may be over-used. In this case – the player truly fits the label – making number 35 one of the most exciting watches in the sport today.