Although they were predicted to be one of the best teams in baseball once again, people didn’t expect that Cody Bellinger was going to have a bounce-back year like he has had. A season ago, Bellinger had his worst season as a professional. He hit .165 and only had 10 home runs. He was even benched against left-handed pitching because he simply couldn’t get the job done. As crazy as it sounds, Our MLB picks today say he could possibly win the MVP award.
With somebody that has had the type of career that Bellinger had prior to the 2021 season, it’s pretty crazy to think that he was the type of player he was in 2021. Bellinger has been named the National League MVP, a two-time All-Star, all MLB first-team, the Rookie of the Year, and countless other awards.
Obviously, still being just 26 years old, the spotlight could’ve gotten to him and that could be part of the reasons why he did struggle. When he was struggling, the national media made sure to let him know and when things start to go south in Los Angeles, it’s not always easy to just turn around and pick it back up.
How’s Bellinger Doing To Start The Season?
What Cody Bellinger has been able to do at the start of the 2022 season is an incredible sign for the Los Angeles Dodgers. If they can continue getting production out of him, now we are seriously talking about the best lineup that baseball has ever seen. A lineup that is going to feature Bellinger, Freddie Freeman, Mookie Betts, Trea Turner, Justin Turner, Will Smith, Max Muncy, and a few other high level hitters is nearly unstoppable.
Bellinger was recently named the national league player of the week for the week of April 18-24. He hit .304 during the week(7-for-23) with three home runs and an OPS of 1.174. It was the first time since 2019 where he truly looked like himself and it was a beautiful sight to see.
What’s Changed For Bellinger?
When looking at his advanced stats, most of the numbers jump out for him having a potential productive year. He currently has an above average exit velocity, hard hit percentage, xwOBA, xBA, xSLG, barrel percentage, and a few other advanced metrics are looking good to start the year.
His exit velocity is something to look for this season. He hasn’t had a season since 2019 where his average exit velocity was over 90.0 MPH, but this season, his average exit velocity is 90.3. Whenever you can hit the ball over 90 MPH, good things usually happen.
His 2019 stats are considerably better than what he is producing right now, but it’s a step in the right direction for the 26 year-old. In 2019, he hit .305 and belted 47 home runs while driving in 115 RBIs.
Can He Win The MVP?
When thinking about if he can win the MVP, the chances are certainly there. He is one of the best defensive outfielders in all of baseball and that’s only going to help his case. If he can continue playing at the level that he is, it would be tough to say that anybody in the National League is going to play better than him.
We all know that he’s going to leave the yard at least 30 times if he is on his game and if he can get that batting average to about .275, there is a chance that he walks away with the award.
The season is still young, but if Cody Bellinger can continue playing the way that he has, not only does he have an outside chance of winning the National League MVP award, but the Dodgers are going to be even better than what many people were thinking.