It’s been quite a year for rookies in the MLB, and young slugger Cody Bellinger has put on an impressive show in the first half of the season. His power is legit, and some are even comparing Bellinger to home run king Barry Bonds. Is Bellinger’s fantastic rookie season a fluke or is he the real deal?
We’ve seen plenty of rookies come into the league and put on a show in their first season. It’s hard to put on a better performance than Cody Bellinger has in his first 66 games. The 21-year-old was recently selected to his first MLB All-Star Game, and that’s likely not the end of his accolades.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) July 2, 2017
Through 66 games this season Bellinger is hitting .258 with 24 home runs and 56 RBI. The first baseman/outfielder has been better than even the Dodgers imagined he would be at this point. Bellinger’s power numbers were solid in the minors, but nowhere near this level.
In 2015 Bellinger hit 30 home runs at the age of 19 in the minor leagues. He followed that season up with hitting 29 home runs between Double-A and Triple-A last season. That was in over 120 games, and Bellinger has only played around 60 this season.
Normally when players hit 25-30 home runs in the minors it doesn’t always fully translate to the MLB. Most of the time those hitters will hit 15-20 bombs in the MLB. Bellinger is proving that notion wrong, and he could be looking at a rookie season with 50 home runs.
Cody Bellinger said on @MLBNetwork’s All-Star Roster Review show that he will compete in the Home Run Derby, with his dad pitching to him.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 3, 2017
In 1986 rookie Barry Bonds at the age of 21 finished the season with 16 home runs. He then went on to hit 24 & 25 home runs the following seasons. Bellinger has already done that in half a season, and is living up to the hype. Could Bellinger really be the next Barry Bonds?
It’s unlikely any player hits 73 home runs like Bonds did in 2001 with the Giants. He finished his 22 year baseball career with 762 career homers. It’s hard to imagine any player having a shot at that record, but young Bellinger just might have a chance.
Recently retired Alex Rodriguez finished just a few home runs shy of 700. Albert Pujols is still hitting bombs with the Angels and is currently sitting at 603 home runs. If Bellinger can continue the pace he’s on and stay healthy he could be on top all-time home run leader-boards.
No one can predict the future and know how Bellinger’s career will pan out. His power is legitimate and he’s a top 10 power hitter in the MLB right now. Bellinger currently leads the National League in home runs, and he very well could be down as one of the games best power hitters when everything is said and done.