It is almost like Cody Bellinger wasn’t a valuable player in 2018

Trade talks are heating up and every Dodger outfielder is being discussed in deals to shore up area’s that evidently need shoring up.

Even Cody Bellinger’s name has come up, which to me seems ridiculous given he should be as untouchable as Walker Buehler. Sure, Bellinger didn’t put up as insane a season as his rookie year, but he was still one of the most valuable players in all of baseball.

He will be paid the league minimum again in 2019, before entering his first year of arbitration in 2020. With Harper a.iming for a contract in excess of $325 million, consider this: Bellinger has been worth 8.3 wins above replacement since 2017, and Harper has been worth 7.5 since 2016, according to Baseball-Reference.com

L.A. Times beat Andy McCullough put out this story today about Bellinger. At first, the title of the tweet put me off, but the actual story is excellent as Andy goes in-depth about what the Dodgers feel were his issues in 2018 and what he can do to fix them for the future.

Yet, the season for Bellinger still classified as a “tough year,” manager Dave Roberts said Tuesday. His slugging percentage dipped 111 points. His production against left-handers sagged. He was the most valuable player of the National League Championship Series and still finished the postseason with a .115 batting average and a .192 slugging percentage. He performed like a useful cog in the Dodgers platoon machine, rather than the consistent force he was for much of 2017.

But even if Cody Bellinger never gets better than he was in 2018, that was still a very valuable player. He struggled once again in the World Series but they don’t get to the World Series without him between his clutch catches, throws, and home-run in the NLCS.

Way back in Sept of 2017 I wondered if Cody might be more valuable to the team as a center fielder. With Muncy looking like the Dodger first baseman, it would appear that Cody Bellinger will be the everyday center fielder.

Just for fun, below is the list of players who played 1st or CF at least 51% of the time from 2017 – 2018. Man, there are some great base runner in this category. Look at the SB / CS rates of Trout/Cain/Yelich and Bellinger.

Player             OPS+ WAR/pos From   To   Age   PA HR  BB  SO SB CS   OPS      Pos
Mike Trout          194    16.8 2017 2018 25-26 1115 72 216 214 46  6 1.080    *8/DH
Lorenzo Cain        116    12.2 2017 2018 31-32 1265 25 125 194 56  9  .808    *8/HD
Christian Yelich    140    11.6 2017 2018 25-26 1346 54 148 272 38  6  .901   *8/79H
Paul Goldschmidt    139    11.2 2017 2018 29-30 1355 69 184 320 25  9  .944    *3/DH
Joey Votto          148    10.9 2017 2018 33-34 1330 48 242 184  7  1  .940    *3/HD
Freddie Freeman     147    10.6 2017 2018 27-28 1221 51 141 227 18  8  .933    *3/5H
Aaron Hicks         123     8.6 2017 2018 27-28  942 42 141 178 21  7  .838  *8/7H9D
Cody Bellinger      130     8.3 2017 2018 21-22 1180 64 133 297 24  4  .869 *3/87H9D
Matt Carpenter      132     7.8 2017 2018 31-32 1299 59 211 283  6  2  .868  *3/54HD
George Springer     130     7.7 2017 2018 27-28 1249 56 128 233 11 11  .834 *8*9/DH7
Kevin Kiermaier      98     7.6 2017 2018 27-28  788 22  56 190 26 12  .725     *8/H
Matt Olson          128     7.1 2017 2018 23-24  876 53  92 223  2  1  .841    *3/H9
Anthony Rizzo       127     7.0 2017 2018 27-28 1356 57 161 170 16  8  .873 *3/4H175

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 12/12/2018.

 

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