Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger was named the 2017 National League Rookie of the Year Monday after he put on a power-packed show for the National League champions.
MLB announced the winner:
The Dodgers have captured back-to-back NL Rookie of the Year Awards following shortstop Corey Seager's successful bid for the hardware in 2016.
Bellinger, who made his major league debut April 25, was nothing short of brilliant during a historic inaugural campaign that included an All-Star berth.
In 132 games, the 22-year-old slashed .267/.352/.581 with a National League rookie record 39 home runs plus 97 RBI. The only first-year players to mash more home runs than Bellinger are Aaron Judge (52 in 2017) and Mark McGwire (49 in 1987).
Bellinger also finished the year with a .933 OPS—10th among NL hitters—and a robust 4.0 wins above replacement, per FanGraphs.
"For a young player to impact a championship-caliber ballclub like this—on the defensive side, obviously in the batter's box—I think exceeded all of our expectations," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said, according to the Orange County Register's Bill Plunkett. "It's scary. It's easy to say he's only going to get better. But he keeps getting better."
Topping his rookie numbers will require a serious step forward, but if 2017 was any indication, Bellinger appears to be on a lofty trajectory that could eventually land him in the MVP conversation as the Dodgers continue their quest to try to represent the class of the National League.
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