After that, his career started to go downhill: he had a .789 OPS in 2020 and a .542 mark last year, the result of hitting .165/.240/.302.
He made adjustments during the season and found a way to better reach high fastballs with his swing, and those changes paid off during the postseason.
Last October, Bellinger hit .353/.436/.471 with a .907 OPS, although the sample size was small and he still had a less than ideal walks-per-strikeout ratio of 1/11.
Stephanie Apstein of SI.com wrote that Bellinger “is struggling this spring once again, but he is not too worried about it.”
For someone who has struck out in 14 of his 19 spring at bats, six months after he hit .165, Cody Bellinger is remarkably cheerful.
— Stephanie Apstein (@stephapstein) March 28, 2022
“For someone who has struck out in 14 of his 19 spring at bats, six months after he hit .165, Cody Bellinger is remarkably cheerful. ‘He always thinks he’s on the brink, even if he’s not on the brink.'” Apstein wrote.
Getting The ‘Punchies’ Out Of The Way
The Dodgers’ star told Apstein that “I’m just getting my punchies out of the way in … March? Are we in March? So they don’t happen in the season.”
Whether he is being playful, overconfident, unaware, or just defiant is a debate for another day, but it does sound that Bellinger is not overly concerned about his spring training performance.
At some point, he will need to start producing, because the Dodgers won’t keep an underperforming bat in their stellar lineup for longer than they should.
At some point, playing time could become a concern.
Is Bellinger ready to have a bounce-back campaign in 2022?
So far, it doesn’t look like it, but spring training performance is not all an indicative or predictor for future performance.
We shall see in a few weeks.