When you think of Cody Bellinger, the first thing that comes to mind is probably that sweet swing of his, one that's already produced 83 home runs in less than two and a half seasons. Nineteen of those have come this year, putting him just two behind the NL leader in dingers, Christian Yelich. Bellinger does lead the entire MLB in both RBIs (49) and batting average (.383) though, making him a potential candidate to win a Triple Crown, something that's only been done once in the last 52 years.
More attainable for Bellinger would be the MVP Award, one he could win solely based off his hitting stats if he keeps it up. His defense doesn't get nearly enough credit, though that appears to be changing, as MLB.com, the L.A. Times and the Sporting News have all run pieces in the last 24 hours praising his all-around play.
All five of Bellinger's tools were on display on Monday night in L.A. in the Dodgers game against the New York Mets, which L.A. win 9-5 thanks to some great hitting but, more importantly, defense. Bellinger homered in the third to give the Dodgers the lead, but it was a throw he made in the top of the eighth that may have saved the game for L.A. Down 8-5, the Mets were on the verge of a big rally, loading the bases with just one out. After going down 0-1, New York left fielder J.D. Davis hit a fly ball to right field, deep enough to easily score the runner from third on a tag up. Instead of trying to get the runner at home, Bellinger fired a laser beam to third baseman Justin Turner, hitting him right in the bread basket on the fly just in time to tag out Carlos Gomez:
Like the color commentator said, even if Turner wasn't able to tag Gomez, this throw is insane no matter what. The fact that it was in time, by literally an inch or less, makes it one of the most impressive throws you'll see all season:
If I've said it once I've said it a thousand times (I've probably only said it once), you can have your homers, I'll take a ridiculous defensive play like this any day of the week. Bellinger, knowing how ridiculous it was, hit 'em with the MJ shrug afterwards. Boss moves only:
The MJ shrug should be reserved for very special plays from very special players. This would be one of those times.