A superstar is not made overnight, but Cody Bellinger has started a Major League Baseball career that could one day make him the next superstar in the sport.
In his first 12 games Bellinger, who is just 21, hit five home runs. Of the 12 games he has played, the Dodgers have won 9.
Bellinger is the Dodgers’ top prospect and great things were expected of the talent, but just not so soon. Because he plays first and Adrian Gonzalez is there, Bellinger started the season with Oklahoma City in Triple-A.
He hit five home runs in his 18 games at Oklahoma City before being called up. Prior to the start of his season there, he had only played three games at the Triple-A level.
Bellinger not only hits with power but he runs the bases well and can play anywhere in the outfield. He was called up when Joc Pederson the Dodgers center fielder was put on the disabled list.
Since he was called up he has yet to sit out any game and the big question lingering is what will happen when Pederson is healthy.
Several baseball pundits believe the Dodgers will keep Bellinger with the team, regardless of what position they play him at. Nevertheless, that decision will not come soon since Gonzalez was also been placed on the team’s DL due to elbow and back problems meaning Bellinger can take over at first.
Bellinger has hit a pair of home runs in two different games and is second on the team with five. Dating back to 1920 when Major League Baseball starting counting RBIs as official stats, Bellinger is just the second player at this level to combine for 5 home runs and 14 RBIs over his first 12 games played.
Of course, prior to Bellinger the only player to do that was Mark Quinn with the Royals in 1999 so it is too early to put superstar status on the shoulders of the youngster.
Bellinger has baseball genes. His father, Clay, was a utility player in the majors. Early in the youngster’s pro career he focused on making contact at the plate and not until his third season did he start to drive the ball and hit home runs.
The Dodgers have talent. Corey Seager is the reigning rookie of the year in the National League and was third in voting for MVP. Then there is Julio Urias, who is just 20 and expected to be a talented pitcher.
Of course, it is too early to tell if Bellinger will be another player of the caliber of teammate Seager or superstars Bryce Harper or Mike Trout, but he surely has opened the eyes of many.