Finally, Cody Bellinger has his 2019 Most Valuable Player Award for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
?MVP. MVP. MVP.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) November 14, 2019
Indeed, during his age-23 season; the numbers on the back of his card will forever beautifully represent the season in which he won the award. Equally important, Bellinger is etched in Dodgers’ history in becoming the first MVP in the franchise since Clayton Kershaw (2014) and Kirk Gibson (1988). Now, Bellinger is the sixth Dodgers’ player to win the award while playing in Los Angeles.
Obviously, winning an MVP is the highest distinction and individual award that a player can earn. Simply, it’s the gold-standard; there is a certain level of legacy cemented once a player has won the award. Certainly, Bellinger should be looked at as one of the elite few in the game of baseball; and the greatness of his 2019 season can never be taken away from him.
Therefore, how did Bellinger win this award?
First, he ended the season with a .305/406/.629 slash line. This was good for a 1.035 OPS to go along with 47 home runs, 115 RBI, 108 walks and 121 runs. Also, he stole 15 bases in 20 attempts.
Second, he finished with a bWAR of 9.0; which will go down as one of the highest bWAR seasons for a position player in Dodgers’ history. Third, he won the gold glove and displayed his defensive skills at three different positions regularly for the Dodgers in 2019.
Finally, if you had the opportunity to watch Bellinger on a nightly basis like many of us did; he looked like an MVP looks over the course of a full season. Whether it was with his bat, legs, glove, immense power, or a combination of all; Bellinger did something almost every night to help the Dodgers win a record amount of games in 2019.
It was a season unlike any I have seen, and possibly will ever see again.