For all the deals the Los Angeles Dodgers took part in or did not, during the offseason, the most important possible new part of their lineup for 2017 could be a player already in their organization.
For any club, it is best when you can hold onto prized prospects, most importantly the ones who take home awards such as the NL Rookie of the Year.
Los Angeles players have won those in large numbers four straight over a period between the late 70s and early 80s and five consecutive from ’92 to ’96, so maybe after last season’s winner Corey Seager, another Dodgers’ player will win this season.
When thinking of that the name of Cody Bellinger comes to mind. Bellinger is likely the next young star for the Dodgers, the youngster, just 21, has hit 56 home runs over the past two seasons in the minors and is now one of the league’s top prospects.
Bellinger’s timetable of being called up to the majors is still not known. He is a first baseman and since Adrian Gonzalez is still a quality player at first, and the team is full of left-handed bats, his call up could be later than sooner.
There are so many left-handed hitters that the Dodgers signed a new second baseman, Logan Forsythe who is right-handed. The Dodgers batted poorly all last season against southpaw pitchers.
However, in 2016 in the minors Bellinger hit well against lefties, of course the big part of that is the minors are not like the majors.
Rumors are that if Bellinger is given an opportunity this season to show his skills at the major league level, his play will force the Dodgers into keep him in the batting order.
The past two years, Bellinger has been played the outfield after he played almost entirely at first the first two years he was in the minors. His playing time in the outfield is nonetheless limited but he has started in each of the three outfield positions during his time at Tulsa in Double-A.
Of course, Bellinger would not become the first highly rated prospect to change his position during his trip up to the big leagues and he will surely not be the last if Los Angeles does play him in the outfield.