Alright Angelenos – I think it’s important that we devote a post to the best catch Cody Bellinger has made as a center fielder. On Tuesday night, the Dodgers lost 4-1 to the San Diego Padres. The Boys in Blue slumbered through the game and were one out away from getting shutout before Max Muncy hit his 21st home run of the year. In a game like this it might be easy to gloss over or forget about Bellinger’s catch, or the importance this could have down the line.
Before we show the highlight, it’s important to note that Bellinger’s versatility has opened doors for the Dodgers and their future plans.
Remember in the spring when the Dodgers said they had no plans to play Bellinger in the outfield? Baseball had it’s own plans. That was before the days of Max Muncy. Here we are in mid-July, and Bellinger has appeared in 30 games in center. There have been rumblings of the Dodgers acquiring an infielder that would move Muncy to first base full-time. This would slide Bellinger to the outfield full time. And I think the catch we are about to show you is evidence the the Dodgers have a real, viable big league centerfielder on their hands if they so choose.
Here is the highlight catch that took a home run away from Eric Hosmer:
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) July 11, 2018
During the telecast, it was tough to tell if it was one of those legit, web gem style catches you see Mike Trout make so often to take a run off the scoreboard for the opposition. If you watch this a few times through, that’s exactly what Bellinger did. The way he glides to the ball, feels the warning track with his feet, and uses his athleticism as if he’s laying up a basketball with ease are so impressive to me.
Bellinger is still without an error in the outfield in 2018. Day by day, he’s making nice reads on fly balls and showing more comfort as an everyday outfielder. This comfort should breed better offensive numbers as he settles in to a new position he’s more acclimated at playing.
And if the Dodgers do decide to make a move for an infielder, it’s possible you’re also gaining a Gold Glove defender in center in Cody Bellinger.
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