MLB Rookie Profile: Cody Bellinger
Cody Bellinger, an American professional baseball first baseman and outfielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers, was born on July 13, 1995, in Scottsdale, Arizona. Bellinger’s success as a baseball player began at a young age, as he played in the 2007 Little League World Series for Chandler, Arizona. In high school, he was a 2013 Rawlings-Perfect Game 2nd Team All-American. Also in high school, he pitched a four-hit complete game shutout with 10 strikeouts in a national tournament.
In the 2013 Major League Baseball Draft, the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fourth round drafted Bellinger. Despite verbally committing to the University of Oregon to play baseball he signed with the Dodgers on June 13 with a $700,000 signing bonus. Bellinger debuted with the Arizona League Dodgers, where he batted .210 in nearly 200 plate appearances. He was then promoted to the Ogden Raptors in 2014 where he hit for a .328 average in 46 games. He managed to achieve this impressive batting average while also dealing with a shoulder injury. After the 2014 season, he was promoted to the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes where he was selected to the California League all-star team. Through a 128 game season for Bellinger, he hit .264 with 30 homeruns and 103 runs batted in.
In 2016 he was invited to the Dodgers Spring Training, then for the beginning of the season assigned to the Double-A Tulsa Drillers in the Texas League. During 114 games for Tulsa Bellinger posted a .263 batting average with 23 home runs and 65 runs batted in. Due to this impressive stat line with the Double-A team, he was promoted late in the season to the Dodgers Triple-A affiliate, the Oklahoma City Dodgers. Over his short term with Oklahoma City, Bellinger went six for eleven and hit three home runs. After the Triple-A season ended, he was sent to the Glendale Desert Dogs in the Arizona Fall League and was also chosen to participate in the Fall Stars Game, which consists of the top prospects in the league.
To begin the 2017 season, Bellinger was once again with the Oklahoma City Dodgers. However, not for long, as he was soon called up to the major league club on April 25, 2017. In his debut against the San Francisco Giants, he played in left field and tallied one hit in three at-bats and had an intentional walk. He became only the third player in Dodger history to be intentionally walked in his major league debut. Shortly after his debut Bellinger also collected his first major league home run on April 29 against the Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Zach Eflin. Although he didn’t stop there as he soon after crushed a second home run later in that game, becoming the third Dodger to have a two-homer game in his first five starts. Still refusing to slow down, only a few days later on May 6, he hit his first career grand slam off Miguel Diaz of the San Diego Padres.
His incredible start propelled him to become the first Dodger to ever hit five home runs in his first eleven games, leading to a National League Player of the Week award. Bellinger has already seen incredible success in his young campaign as a major leaguer and there will only be more to come from this young slugger as playing opportunities continue to open up for him.