Today is a special day in the life of Cody Bellinger. Today is the day he becomes a big leaguer and is welcomed to the fraternity. Bellinger is the Dodgers top current prospect in the minor leagues, and he’s in the lineup tonight at AT&T Park and batting eighth.
It’s not just any other night – as Clayton Kershaw is taking the bump – and the Dodgers need a win bad.
So we’re donning our Corey Seager t-shirt jersey. Threw a few doll hairs on the Dodgers. We’ll update this post once Baseball Prospectus does their great usual post about the most recent big call-up. Welcome to the big leagues Cody.
UPDATE: Here’s the Baseball Prospectus post we always put up for big league debuts.
Scouting Report: Bellinger profiles as your classic three-true-outcome slugger, but he’s no hulking Thome or Dunn. He’s tall and lean, but an excellent athlete who profiles as a gold glove caliber defender at first and also has enough arm to play right field. A center field assignment might be ambitious at the major league level, but as a once a week guy, he won’t kill you there. The bat will carry even a first base assignment though as Bellinger has plus-plus raw that comes from a leveraged swing with premium bat speed.
Swing-and-miss has always come with this profile, and Bellinger is no exception. He’s made enough hard contact to make up for an approach that isn’t advanced as his minor league walk rate might imply, but major league arms might be able to find holes and exploit them. Better not miss your spot though. Bellinger is only 21, and could still add strength in coming years. That’s a scary thought, but there’s a reason he was comfortably on the top half of our 101 despite being a first base prospect. And no one will care if the hit tool his below-average if he is dumping thirty over the fence a season.
Bellinger went 1 for 3 in his MLB debut, a Dodgers win in San Francisco.