Obviously, everyone knows about Cody Bellinger’s ongoing postseason struggles. However, the 2019 regular season was an entirely different story for the Los Angeles Dodgers’ outfielder.
Undeniably – Bellinger could be named NL Most Valuable Player in the weeks to come – in part to his improved play this past season. Furthermore, Max’s Sporting Studio has a nice tweet exhibiting the players who had the largest Fangraphs’ Wins Above Replacement (fWAR) value jumps in 2019.
You guessed it, Cody Bellinger is in the top three. Here is the complete list.
Position players who increased their fWAR most from 2018 to 2019:
+5.0 Rafael Devers
+4.5 Ketel Marte
+4.1 Cody Bellinger
+3.9 Trey Mancini
+3.7 Marcus Semien
+3.6 George Springer
+3.6 Yoan Moncada
+3.3 DJ LeMahieu
+2.9 James McCann
+2.8 Scott Kingery
— Max Goldstein (@MaxSportsStudio) October 18, 2019
Without question, Bellinger was right there with anyone in the entire game of baseball in terms of players who had the most improved seasons. Likely, you heard the names of Ketel Marte and Rafael Devers on highlight shows across America while not watching the Dodgers.
This is because their play was improved offensively and defensively, and that play is rounded into one nice number which is fWAR.
Finally, Bellinger finished with an astonishing 7.8 fWAR overall. By comparison, he posted fWAR totals of 4.0 and 3.6 in his first two big league seasons. This is evidence that – no matter how he arrived at this number – Bellinger was among not only the most improved but the most elite in all of the sport in 2019.
Bellinger finished the season with 47 home runs, a .305 average, .406 on-base percentage and 15 steals. Notably, it goes to show you how quickly all of these numbers are forgotten if a player has a slow post season.