Aaron Judge is getting a ton of headlines for his mammoth home runs and unbelievably hot hitting, and he deserves all of them. But out West, the Los Angeles Dodgers have their own answer to the New York Yankees’ new slugger, and his name is Cody Bellinger.
Bellinger — a second-generation major leaguer — debuted in the big leagues on April 25, and since then has blasted 17 home runs. He’s also racked up 35 RBI, while hitting .261 with a .335 on-base percentage and a .965 OPS. Additionally, he has four multi-homer games since his call-up, the first rookie to ever achieve that mark in fewer than 50 games. And while Judge is a fully mature 25 years old, Bellinger won’t even turn 22 until July 13. He’s not even close to what he’ll eventually become.
Since Bellinger hit the majors, his 17 home runs are the most in baseball, and the Dodgers are 31-14 (which happens to be the best record in the bigs during that stretch). He’s clearly made a huge impact on the franchise. The kid has been incredible, there aren’t enough words to describe the kind of talent he has.
Oh, and did I mention how gorgeous his swing is? Seriously, watch this:
His swing is Ken Griffey Jr.-levels of perfect. That thing is so pretty I want to take it out for a nice steak dinner and move in for a make out when I walk it to the door.
So far in 11 June games, Bellinger has six home runs, 10 RBI, a .289 batting average and a ridiculous 1.214 OPS. He’s also reaching base at a .372 clip. The scary part? He’s only going to get better.
Sure, Bellinger doesn’t have a section of his home park cleverly named for him, he’s not in the Triple Crown race (yet) and doesn’t hit 500-foot blasts, but he’s become as important to his team as Judge is to the Yankees. It’s time we recognize just how good this kid has been, and the kind of player he could become.