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Dodgers: The Tool That Keeps Cody Bellinger From Slumping

It takes a particular set of skills to bat over .400 this late into a campaign.

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.


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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.

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.

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    • LOL!!!! Azul, you hit it right on the sweet spot. As Clint stated, lets just enjoy this season as Cody shows us how the game ought to be played. Go Blue!!!

  1. Hitting .400 a third of the way through the season is an accomplishment for anyone, but Cody is doing it even though he would like to launch every pitch. Also, his percentage of Ks is down dramatically.

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