Cody Bellinger is coming off of an MVP season, where he had 47 home runs and a .406 BP. He also had 15 stolen bases. Three years into the league, he has a pretty full trophy cabinet already. The Los Angeles Dodgers are absolutely loaded top to bottom in terms of talent, and Bellinger hitting in the middle of this oder is going to be dangerous again. After a “down” 2018 where he posted more average numbers, he topped his Rookie of the Year numbers from 2017. Bellinger is going top six-seven in drafts, and you’d be lucky to see him slip past that. Bellinger is a mix of power and speed, and is in the best offense in the National League. His projections are among the tops of any position, but is eligible at first base and outfield to start the season.
Last Three Years Stats
Over the past three seasons, Cody Bellinger ranks 4th in ISO, and 10th in wRC+. He has a .368 OBP to start his career, which ranks 21st in the last three seasons. Bellinger is putting up elite numbers, and will barely be turning 25 this year. He is a pretty rare offensive talent, who also ranks 39th in stolen bases over this same span. Only Francisco Lindor and Mike Trout join Bellinger in having over 100 HR and 30+ stolen bases in the last three seasons. He is 13th in runs, and 16th in RBI. Pretty impressive for someone his age. His projections point towards more of the same production over the next few seasons.
2020 Fantasy Projections
Looking at overall numbers, Cody Bellinger projects to finish top 5 in home runs, runs, and RBI. Bellinger’s projections reflect closer to his true upside rather than a floor, which is pretty safe too. While he has just three years in the majors, we are not doubting that the production can be consistent. Where he has a slight edge over a few others is that he projects for 15 stolen bases. With the improvements made at the plate, cutting down his strikeout rate quite a bit, and upping his walk rate, he has made great strides to keep up monster production. I don’t believe we will see him fall back down to that .260 range.
Cody Bellinger ZiPS 3-year projection:
2020 – .293/.392/.585/.977
2021 – .291/.394/.597/.991
2022 – .287/.394/.587/.981pic.twitter.com/s7SujT4H2S
— Dodgers Index (@DodgersIndex) February 19, 2020
We can’t point to 2018 and just say that is Bellinger’s floor. His overall RBI production should be around 90 as a floor. 35 home runs is a pretty safe floor as well. With a healthy Corey Seager and strong lineup behind him, Bellinger’s run production is also very safe. His move into this ADP and Auction range is due to the fact that he does have a pretty safe floor in addition to upside. There doesn’t project to be any sort of drop off in stolen bases either, where he has had double-digits in each of his three seasons. The one area we could see him average out a bit is his batting average. A .270-.280 season is in his range of outcomes, but he doesn’t project close to there.
Topping last year is going to be pretty tough, but he projects for just a shade more in RBIs and runs. Bellinger certainly has 50+ home run upside as well. I don’t see the average moving really that much higher than last season. Much like most of the names being picked in the first round, these guys are the most likely to come close to their ceiling projections. There is just slight room for improvement here, which says more about his floor already. Who knows, maybe MLB will change the ball again to keep it more power friendly.
After the first few names, you have a decision to make, but Cody Bellinger is certainly not a wrong one. I am grabbing this 40+ home run bat who produces in every category and moving on to the next pick. Within this loaded Dodgers offense, Bellinger is going to be one of the cogs in the machine. I don’t mind paying the premium ADP for him or the auction value. Especially when I can play him at first base as well. That puts less pressure on me to deal with that position, where outfielder is a bit deeper. The argument you can make here is outside of the SB numbers combined with the power, you can get this upside within the next few rounds. This is also where Gerrit Cole and Jacob deGrom are finding themselves as well. Depending on how your league values pitching, it could dictate what happens within the pick 4-6 range.
Los Angeles Dodgers Offense
The Dodgers offense averaged 5.4 runs per game last season, which was 5th in the Majors. This is coming off a year where they averaged 4.8, which still ranked inside the top eight. This group even got better with Mookie Betts now set to leadoff. The Dodgers project to score 5.3 runs per game again, which is fourth in the league. Dodger Stadium played pretty neutral to home runs, although day games the park plays smaller, where at night we can see the park play large. It played above average to left-handed power bats over the last few seasons.
There is a whole lot of red on this page for Cody Bellinger. He was in the 80th percentile for exit velocity and hard-contact. All his expected stats completely backed what he was doing at the plate in 2019. You can see how good of an athlete he is with his sprint speed and defensive numbers. One of the big positives was that Bellinger cut down his strikeout rate from 24% to 16%. He also upped his walk rate, and was in the top 10% in barrel %.
Everything was trending upwards for Bellinger, so the MVP like season was not a big surprise. Now it will be about keeping it going. He was 51st in average exit velocity, and ranked 8th overall in barrels. These are premium numbers. His defense is also strong, where he made seven outs above average, which ranked 15th in the league.
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