By all accounts, Cody Bellinger is not the hitter that he used to be in his rookie of the year season in 2017 and his subsequent MVP season in 2019. Over his last three seasons, Bellinger has struggled with strikeouts, hitting home runs, and collecting the hits that once made him one of the most dangerous hitters in baseball.
Last season, Bellinger was coming off of shoulder surgery and suffered a leg injury that resulted in him missing 46 games in April and May. It was somewhat understandable that he was going to have a slow start, but Cody put together some of the most dreadful hitting stats of any hitters in baseball.
He finished second to last in wRC+ (48), had the fifth worst slugging percentage (.302), and had the fourth lowest WAR (-1.0).
“To win a MVP, everything’s gotta lineup – unless your Mike Trout. It was a special year, 2019, for Cody, is he ever going to get to that caliber? Only time will tell.”
Doc noted that he's had plenty of talks with Cody about adjusting to the player he is currently, and thinks that chasing those 2019 numbers might be playing a role in his hitting slump that's spanned three seasons.
“I’ve had many conversation with Cody, we have to find a way to get past that and deal in the now. Understand the player you are right now.”
This season, Cody has been better than his troubling 2021 (.542 OPS). He has a .660 OPS, but has continually struggled with fastballs, especially elevated fastballs, and breaking balls low and inside.
Bellinger's only 26-year-old, but at this point, it would be a shock to see him ever contend for a MVP again.