Cody Bellinger may or may not win the National League MVP award this year but he is on pace to become the Dodgers newest all-time single season home run king. Bellinger smacked his MLB leading 42nd home run of the season on Sunday afternoon during the first inning of the Dodger’s 5-3 loss in Atlanta. Brave’s center fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. nearly robbed him, but the ball popped out of his glove and landed over the wall. Bellinger now has 42 home runs and 97 runs batted in this year.
The record for the most home runs in a single season in Dodger’s franchise history is Shawn Green’s 49 home runs in 2001. The tall lanky left handed hitting outfielder played for five seasons in Los Angeles and smashed 162 home runs while driving home 509 runs. Green was one of the best and it seemed like nobody would ever eclipse his 49-homer mark.
Yet here comes Cody. Bellinger has been not only the Dodger’s best all-around hitter but one of the most dangerous hitters in all of baseball this season. Currently Bellinger’s 42 home runs rank the ninth highest in Dodger’s history. Hitting number 43 moves him into a tie for third place with Duke Snider (1956) and Gary Sheffield (2000). Only Adrian Beltre and Green have hit more home runs in franchise history.
Is Bellinger on pace to break any other Dodger single season offensive records? Possibly he could be in the conversation to place in the top ten in runs scored, on-base percentage, slugging and OPS. Bellinger’s .416 OBP would put him just outside the top ten. It would be pretty difficult for him to top Mike Griffin’s .466 mark from the 1894 season. However Bellinger’s 1.085 OPS currently ranks him second. He would have to overtake Babe Herman’s incredible 1.132 mark set in 1930.
Conceivably Bellinger could top Babe Herman’s .678 slugging percentage from the 1930 season. Right now Bellinger is sitting in second place with a .668 clip. Right now Bellinger is hitting home runs at one of the fastest paces for a Dodger ever. Bellinger is hitting a home run every 10.6 trips to the plate which puts him first ahead of 2018 Max Muncy’s 11.3. Bellinger’s 2017 campaign ranks fourth with a homer in every 12.3 plate appearances. Whether Bellinger breaks records, or doesn’t this is going to go down as one of the greatest offensive seasons for a Dodger hitter in the last fifty years.