There’s a new hashtag spreading around twitter like wildfire called “Codylove”. It’s referring to the love that Dodger fans have for first base prospect Cody Bellinger. The youngster is a 20-year old prospect originally from Chandler, Arizona. He’s the heir apparent to first base when Adrian Gonzalez finally gets too old to play. He’s been red hot this spring too.
Bellinger was drafted by the Dodgers in the fourth round of the 2013 amateur draft. He bats and throws left, and made his professional debut for the Dodgers in 2013. Last season he was with Rancho Cucamonga and batted .264 with 30 home runs and 103 runs batted in while playing in 128 games. He posted an .873 OPS in 544 plate appearances.
He was slotted in at DH a lot for the Quakes last season but when he was in the field he was normally penciled at first base. He also has some experience in the outfield. He’s played 26 games in centerfield. Bellinger is 6’4, weighs 180 pounds and has a very powerful frame.
Bellinger has a nice powerful classic stroke. He’s slightly bent at the knees but stays upright with little movement. He doesn’t have one of those big leg kicks like Justin Turner. He drives through the ball with his arms while his lower half stays still. He used to have a lot of movement before he swung. He would rock back and forth and wiggle the bat while waiting for the pitch. Apparently the Dodgers have been able to quiet all of that movement. Now he’s pretty stationary with a powerful uppercut swing.
He’s got other tools as well. He runs the bases pretty well and has a good throwing arm. His range in the field is limited, but I would probably guess that the Dodgers want to bulk him up a bit. He’s tall and skinny but has some speed. He’s very athletic and seems to have good fundamentals.
He has some plate discipline too. He walked 52 times in 2015 while playing for the Quakes. Bellinger posted a .336 OBP. He has a career .341 OBP in three minor league seasons. He’s played in 226 minor league games.
This spring he’s played in seven games and is batting .500 (6 for 12) with 4 runs scored. He went 2 for 2 against the Rockies in the Dodger’s 6-4 win over the Rockies on Sunday afternoon. He doubled in two runs and drew a walk.
Bellinger is still a long ways away from being big league ready. He’s got some stuff to work on. Apparently his hands drop, which could give him problems hitting off-speed pitches. However he’s only 20 years old, but has a ton of talent. Bellinger has the tools to be a very productive major league first baseman. I love Adrian Gonzalez, but his career is winding down. In a couple of years Bellinger will probably be ready to take over at first base. When that happens that hashtag should get even more popular.
Do you have Cody love? You will soon.