That year, he hit 47 homers, scored 121 runs, drove in 115, and slashed .305/.406/.629 with the “bouncy” ball.
He struggled badly in 2020 and especially in 2021, though, raising questions about Bellinger’s true worth as a player.
But in 2022, Bellinger is showing that he can still hit.
He is slashing .223/.291/.436 with a .727 OPS and four home runs so far this year.
Now, you may think that line is not that impressive, but consider the low-scoring environment and the Dodgers have a pretty productive player.
In fact, the wRC+ stat (weighted Runs Created Plus) evaluates offensive performance and adjusts it to ballpark and era (and run-scoring environment).
Bellinger Looks Better In 2022
Bellinger is at 113 wRC+, or 13 percent above-average.
Last year, he had a 48 wRC+, or 52 percent worse than the league average.
Another sign that Bellinger is turning things around in comparison to last year is his ability to log multi-hit games.
“2021 Cody Bellinger: 8 multi-hit games in 95 games. 2022 Cody Bellinger: 8 multi-hit games in 26 games (so far),” MLB statistician and analyst Sarah Langs tweeted.
2021 Cody Bellinger: 8 multi-hit games in 95 games
2022 Cody Bellinger: 8 multi-hit games in 26 games (so far)
— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) May 9, 2022
Bellinger already has the same number of multi-hit games as last year in fewer than a third of the games.
Granted, last year was a disaster, but he looks much better at the plate.
Again, he probably won’t ever reach that 2019 ceiling, but he can certainly be productive.
The Dodgers need him at his best to make another run at the World Series.
He was a beast in the last postseason after making adjustments to better reach high fastballs.
He has kept some of those gains this year and the results are showing.