MVP abandoned by the Dodgers, revived by the Cubs… OPS .654→.976, FA looks great

Cody Bellinger (28), a former MVP who was abandoned by the LA Dodgers, has splendidly revived with the Chicago Cubs. At the current pace, becoming an FA jackpot is not a dream. 

Bellinger hit his 7th home run of the season with a solo catcher Woo Joong-Wol, making the score 3-3 in the 6th inning against the Miami Marlins on the 1st (Korean time). Bellinger, who posted 2 RBIs including a sacrifice fly in the 4th inning, finished the month of April in a good mood, local time. 

In 24 games in April, Bellinger batted .297 (27-for-91) with 7 homers, 18 RBIs, 10 walks, 17 strikeouts, .371 slugging percentage, .604 OPS, and .976. 5th in slugging percentage and 6th in home runs and OPS in the National League. Unlike the previous three years, he made a successful start by becoming the ninth hitter in Cubs history to record seven home runs and an OPS of .975 or higher in the opening month of March-April. 

According to ‘MLB.com’, Cubs manager David Ross said, “I’m glad Bellinger got off to a good start. Looking at the season as a whole, there will be times when there will be ups and downs, but a good start will help in terms of mentality,” he said. 

Bellinger, who hit 39 homers as soon as he debuted with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2017 and won the National League Rookie of the Year award, had the best season in 2019 with a batting average of 3.5, 47 homers, 115 RBIs, and an OPS of 1.035, and even received MVP. As he became the best hitter in the league at the young age of 24, a flower path seemed to open. 

However, from 2020, the steep downhill road began. In particular, he underwent surgery after suffering a dislocated shoulder injury during a home run ceremony during the 2020 World Series. 

However, even last year, when he had no major injuries, he failed to bounce back with a batting average of 2.1, 19 homers, 68 RBIs, and an OPS of .654 in 95 games. He was even removed from the start after batting ninth in the postseason. After the season, he was released as a non-tender by the Dodgers. 

A new environment opened up for Bellinger, who changed his uniform after signing a one-year, $17.5 million contract with the Cubs. Changing the team changed his mood, and the change in the league environment due to the defensive shift regulation from this year was a good thing for Bellinger, a left-handed hitter.  크크크벳

The reunion with Cubs hitting coach Dustin Kelly, who he worked with during his minor league days with the Dodgers, cannot be left out. With Coach Kelly, Bellinger repeated the task of emphasizing “simplicity” by changing the lower body and hand positions to adjust the swing. As a result, the strikeout rate (27.3% → 16.2%) decreased noticeably from the previous year, and the batting average against left pitchers (.213 → .265) and OPS (.583 → 1.081) increased. He hit only 6 home runs against left-handed pitchers in 339 at-bats over the past 3 years, but this year he has already hit 4 homers in 40 at-bats. 

After being released from the Dodgers, there was an offer of a multi-year contract, but Bellinger chose a one-year contract. He was determined and confident that he would definitely revive this year. At the current pace, a large free agent contract after the season is also worth expecting. But Bellinger said, “Every day is a new day, so he has to move on. Good or bad, the next day is the most important,” he said, emphasizing his steady performance for the rest of the season without being excited.


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