Cody Bellinger Is Tormenting Opposing Pitchers

Cody Bellinger Is Tormenting Opposing Pitchers

Similar to my Mike Trout puff piece from a couple of weeks ago, let’s all take time to reflect on one of the greatest Aprils we have ever seen. Cody Bellinger (as well as Christian Yelich) tied the record for the most home runs hit in the month of April. He hit .431/.508/.890 during the month! His slugging percentage is high enough that if it were an OPS mark over a full season, he would likely get a bit of MVP consideration.

Currently on May 2nd, Bellinger ranks (among hitters with at least 80 plate appearances) first or tied first in MLB in hits, singles, home runs, RBI’s, runs scored, batting average, OBP, SLG, OPS, weighted runs created, weighted runs above average, wOBA, wRC+, WPA, and Wins Above Replacement, to name off a lot of the main offensive numbers (depending on which side of the statistics fence you sit on).

In terms of FanGraphs’ Pitch Values, there isn’t a single pitch he has struggled with this year. He ranks as a top-10 fastball and slider hitter, one of the best curveball hitters, the best hitter against changeups, and he’s been neutral against cutters.

Cody Bellinger has likely had one of the best Aprils in nearly two decades:

Highest WAR In a Month (since 2002)

Lance Berkman2008May3.12
Randy Winn2005Sep/Oct3.02
Barry Bonds2002Aug3.00
Cody Bellinger2019Mar/Apr2.95
Barry Bonds2004Mar/Apr2.83

Graph courtesy of FanGraphs

It is quite odd to see Randy Winn along the likes of Bonds, Berkman, and Bellinger.

Cody Bellinger burst onto the scene in his rookie year in the majors more than three and a half years after being taken in the fourth round of the MLB draft and hitting .271/.352/.503 during his minor league tenure. In 2017, he hit .267/.352/.581 with 38 home runs, 97 runs driven in, 10 stolen bases, and a 138 wRC+ en route to a 4 WAR rookie season that earned him Rookie of the Year honors. He followed it up with a pretty good sophomore season, although not quite as impressive. He totaled 25 home runs and 76 runs batted in, with a .260/.343/.470 slash line as his power and HR/FB% saw major drops. He still wound up with a 3.6 WAR season due to more playing time.

It seems like Cody Bellinger should be able to stick around to have a long and entertaining major league career. He plays a Gold Glove first base, he’s a solid defensive center fielder, he’s one of the better base runners in the league, and he has an MVP-caliber bat. What’s not to like about Cody Love?

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