Dodgers Team News

Dodgers: Cody Bellinger ‘feels pretty good’ at the Plate Right Now

Dodgers center-fielder Cody Bellinger started the season pretty well, posting a .915 OPS in the first 15 games of the season. Unfortunately for Bellinger and the Dodgers, his slash line over his next 74 games was an anemic .190/.253/.328 (.581 OPS).

In Bellinger’s last 12 games, though, he has started to turn things around, batting .250 with a .568 slugging percentage and an OPS of .839.

There is still work to be done, especially in the on-base department — Belli’s OBP in those dozen games is only .279 and he has only walked twice — but the pieces are starting to come together. Bellinger’s strong slugging percentage the last two weeks isn’t merely the result of a few homers inflating the numbers; he has two home runs, but also six doubles and a triple.

In an interview with SNLA’s Kirsten Watson, Bellinger talked about feeling better at the plate.

“It’s been good. Obviously I haven’t played the full season the way I expect to play, but with that being said, I’m learning a lot about the game and myself and I think I can come out on top. At the end of my career, I’ll look back and be happy it happened.”

Perhaps most notable about Bellinger’s recent stretch of success is that he has struck out just nine times in 48 plate appearances.

The overall MLB strikeout rate this season is about 22.2 percent, so Bellinger’s 18.8 looks quite good in comparison, and very good compared to the 27.6 percent rate Cody posted the previous 74 games.

One striking thing about this interview is that it reinforces some existing stereotypes about Bellinger — he incorrectly described his ping pong partner as “Guillermo from the Jimmy Fallon Show” (Guillermo is from Jimmy Kimmel) and didn’t even know the name of Jerry Hairston’s partner who beat them — but Bellinger clearly knows, understands, and cares deeply about the art of hitting a baseball.

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Jeff Snider

Jeff was born into a Dodgers family in Southern California and is now raising a Dodgers family of his own in Utah. During his previous career as an executive at a technology company, he began writing about baseball in his spare time. After leaving corporate America in 2014, he started doing it professionally. Jeff wrote and edited for Baseball Essential for years before joining Dodgers Nation. He's also the co-host of the Locked On Dodgers podcast, a daily podcast that brings the smart fan's perspective on our Boys in Blue. Jeff has a degree in English from Brigham Young University. Favorite Player: Clayton Kershaw Favorite Moment: Kirk Gibson's homer will always have a place, but Kershaw's homer on Opening Day 2013 might be the winner.


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