However, one of the main driving forces behind the recent success has been outfielder Cody Bellinger.
Lots of non-Dodgers fans, however, consider him an overrated player that has been inflated by the Los Angeles media and fanbase.
That is not the case, however, as Bellinger’s on-field success both offensively and defensively suggest that he is, in fact, an elite player.
Bellinger has a career .273/.364/.546 line with a 137 weighted Runs Created Plus, or wRC+, an offensive stat that gives us an idea how much better (or worse) than the average a hitter is.
Bellinger’s 137 wRC+ means that he has been, over the course of his career, 37% more productive than his peers, which is very, very good.
He is only 25 years old, yet he already has 123 home runs, 327 runs scored, and 320 runs batted in.
Even At His Worst, Bellinger Was Above-Average
Even last season, which was his worse, he was an above-average offensive performer, with a .239/.333/.455 line, 12 homers, 6 steals, and a 114 wRC+.
Bellinger’s hitting prowess was evident in 2019, when he hit .305/.406/.629 with 47 home runs and a 162 wRC+ en route to the National League MVP award.
The Most Valuable Player in the NL: Cody Bellinger. pic.twitter.com/4fIAbBbwgV
— MLB (@MLB) November 14, 2019
He is also extremely versatile, as he is capable of playing first base and all three outfield positions, including the hardest one: center field.
His sneaky athleticism allows him to excel out there as a fielder.
It may not look like it (not every athletic center fielder can hit 47 home runs in a season, after all) but Bellinger is a very good fielder.
Cody Bellinger Is Also An Excellent Fielder
According to last year’s Outs Above Average, a relatively new Statcast measure to determine the level of defensive play, Bellinger was in the 100th percentile, meaning he was the best among his peers.
— 🏆 WS CHAMP Dion Lovato.🏆 (@HeyImDion) February 19, 2021
He had 11 Outs Above Average, and he completed a positive season while going in (1), back (1), to his side towards third base (4) and to his side towards first base (5).
Overall, his list of accolades include two All-Star game selections (2017, 2019), a World Series championship (2020), one All-MLB First Team (2019), the aforementioned NL MVP (2019), the NL Rookie of the Year award (2017), the National League Championship Series MVP (2018), a Gold Glove Award (2019) and a Silver Slugger Award (2019).
He also hit for the cycle on July 15, 2017.
Offensively, Bellinger should be able to rebound from last year’s disappointing season, one that was marred by an extremely small sample size that magnified slumps and bad streaks.
Defensively, he was an excellent contributor, and at his young age, it’s reasonable to expect that level to continue in 2021.
If you want to know why Bellinger isn’t overrated, consider that, since the year he made his MLB debut, which is 2017, only 12 hitters have more Wins Above Replacement, or WAR, than his 16.7.
Overall, Bellinger is properly rated by the average fan, as he has achieved too much at such a young age to be labeled as “overrated.”