Culver City Observer -

By Mitch Chortkoff
Sports Editor 

It's Unanimous: Dodgers' Bellinger Is Rookie Of The Year

 

November 16, 2017



The Dodgers had 17 National League Rookies Of The Year in their history but the 18th one just did it so its real fresh in our minds.

Cody Bellinger was a unanimous winner just like Yankees’ outfielder Aaron Judge who won the American League award.

Bellinger started the season in the minor leagues and the Dodgers thought his swing needed refinement but he performed so well he won the praise of rivals and the news media the rest of the way.

Bellinger hit 39 home runs, breaking Mike Piazza’s Dodger rookie total.

Jackie Robinson was the Dodgers’ first Rookie of the Year in 1947 and the award now bears his name.

Bellinger became the second Dodger in as many years to win the award. In 2016 the winner was Dodger shortstop Corey Seager.

As for changes in Bellinger’s swing that might be visible next season. He will work on it in spring training to overcome a slump late in the season when the Astros seemed to find a weakness in the World Series.

Besides his remarkable offense Bellinger is an accomplished outfielder and first baseman.

He took over first base when Adrian Gonzalez was injured and did a commendable job. Gonzalez attempted to return to the position late in the season but hadn’t fully recovered.

Bellinger is 21 and Gonzlez is 35 so it remains to be seen what the Dodgers will do with the first base position next season.

I thought our local newspaper had a major story when Bellinger was promoted to the Dodgers early in the 2017 season. That’s because it was revealed he was a graduate of Hamilton High.

I thought that was the school located just outside of Culver City. However, I quickly learned he had attended Hamilton High in Arizona.

He was a fourth round draft choice of the Dodgers. Why so low? Well, in his senior high school season he hit only one home run.

Wherever Bellinger plays, first base or the outfield, he figures to remain a valuable contributor to the Dodgers’ offense.

 

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