Cody Bellinger

Cody Bellinger

27-Year-Old OutfielderOF
Chicago Cubs
2023 Fantasy Outlook
While his 2022 constituted a bounce-back to a degree, it wasn't enough as Bellinger was non-tendered by the Dodgers in November just three years after he won National League MVP. It's a dramatic fall from grace but should also serve as a reminder of just how incredibly difficult it is to not only achieve success but sustain success at the highest level of professional baseball. His strikeout rate was high when he first broke into the majors (when he won NL Rookie of the Year), but he's been unable to overcome the swing-and-miss in recent seasons. Bellinger lost patience as his struggles mounted and failed to hit for the kind of rate power we saw earlier in his career. Still just 27 years old, Bellinger can run (14 steals last season) but has to be considered a laborious reclamation project at this point since even the Dodgers -- the best team in the game in terms of development -- weren't able to fix him. The Cubs brought him in on a one-year, $17.5 million deal to open the year as their starting center fielder. Read Past Outlooks
RANKS
#193
ADP
$Signed a one-year, $12.5 million contract with the Cubs in December of 2022. Contract includes a $25 mutual option ($5 million buyout) for 2024.
Signing with Cubs
OFChicago Cubs
December 6, 2022
Bellinger agreed to a one-year, $17.5 million contract with the Cubs on Tuesday, Jeff Passan of ESPN.com reports.
ANALYSIS
The 27-year-old wasn't tendered a contract by the Dodgers for 2023, and he was courted by multiple clubs before he ultimately decided to join the Cubs. Bellinger is well removed from the production of his MVP campaign in 2019 and had a .210/.265/.389 slash line in 144 games last season, though his strong defense in center field should keep him in the lineup in 2023 even if he doesn't bounce back at the plate.
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Batting Stats
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2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2022 MLB Game Log
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2021 MLB Game Log
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2020 MLB Game Log
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2019 MLB Game Log
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
1
17
31
29
24
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
2
17
8
6
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2020
 
 
+31%
OPS vs RHP
2022
 
 
+17%
OPS vs RHP
2021
 
 
+57%
OPS vs RHP
2020
 
 
+43%
OPS vs RHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2020vs Left .529 330 31 5 31 1 .185 .245 .284
Since 2020vs Right .691 804 109 35 102 22 .209 .281 .410
2022vs Left .583 160 14 2 20 0 .213 .250 .333
2022vs Right .684 390 56 17 48 14 .209 .272 .412
2021vs Left .383 96 8 1 4 0 .116 .208 .174
2021vs Right .601 254 31 9 32 3 .183 .252 .349
2020vs Left .597 74 9 2 7 1 .209 .284 .313
2020vs Right .854 160 22 9 22 5 .252 .350 .504
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2020
 
 
+28%
OPS at Home
2022
 
 
+43%
OPS at Home
2021
 
 
+50%
OPS at Home
2020
 
 
+14%
OPS on Road
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2020Home .734 538 69 22 72 10 .224 .301 .433
Since 2020Away .573 605 73 19 62 13 .184 .246 .327
2022Home .778 263 34 12 41 7 .243 .297 .481
2022Away .543 287 36 7 27 7 .181 .237 .306
2021Home .662 162 20 7 22 2 .189 .278 .385
2021Away .440 188 19 3 14 1 .145 .207 .233
2020Home .731 113 15 3 9 1 .229 .345 .385
2020Away .836 130 18 9 21 5 .248 .323 .513
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Stat Review
How does Cody Bellinger compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 400 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
  • Expected BA
    Expected Batting Average.
  • Expected SLG
    Expected Slugging Percentage.
  • Sprint Speed
    The speed of a runner from home to first, in feet per second.
  • Ground Ball %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are on the ground.
  • Line Drive %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are line drives.
  • Fly Ball %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are fly balls.
BB/K
0.25
 
BB Rate
6.9%
 
K Rate
27.3%
 
BABIP
.255
 
ISO
.179
 
AVG
.210
 
OBP
.265
 
SLG
.389
 
OPS
.654
 
wOBA
.286
 
Exit Velocity
89.4 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
34.4%
 
Barrels/PA
5.5%
 
Expected BA
.213
 
Expected SLG
.354
 
Sprint Speed
21.5 ft/sec
 
Ground Ball %
35.6%
 
Line Drive %
17.2%
 
Fly Ball %
47.2%
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
Bellinger has had a unique career trajectory to date. He was worth 15.3 fWAR, hit 111 home runs, stole 39 bases and won an NL MVP by the end of his age-23/24 season. Since then, he has hit .195/.278/.364 with 22 home runs and nine steals while being worth 0.4 fWAR over his last 151 games (2020-2021). He dealt with rib and hamstring injuries late last season and dealt with a calf injury in the spring that ended up getting re-diagnosed as a fractured fibula, which sidelined him for almost two months from early April to late May. Even prior to the calf/fibula injury, Bellinger was returning from November 2020 surgery to repair a dislocated right shoulder. There's no sugarcoating how bad Bellinger was in 2021, but it's hard to say what percentage of that poor performance can simply be blamed on the injuries he dealt with. Bellinger no longer carries first-base eligibility and doesn't turn 27 until July. He has gone outside the first 100 picks in many early NFBC drafts, which could end up looking like a massive bargain, although it requires a small leap of faith to make that pick on draft day.
Bellinger's first three seasons at the big-league level were statistically marvelous, and his 2019 MVP campaign set high expectations for his 2020 season. Fantasy veterans know that what goes up must come down a bit, but nobody projected the type of performance Bellinger posted in 2020 as his actual outcomes at the plate severely lagged his expected ones. His xBA was 45 points better than his actual one while his xSLG was 43 points better than his actual SLG. Bellinger was still accepting of his walks and kept his strikeouts in check, but he surprisingly struggled against fastballs with a .236 BA and .358 SLG. When we look to where the expected stats see a rebound, it is against the fastball as he had a .290 xBA and .471 xSLG on fastballs. Expecting a repeat of 2019 is aiming too high, but getting close to what he did in 2017 is not out of reach with his talents. Dual eligibility is a bonus too.
In his third season, Bellinger patched up some of the holes in his batting profile that had surfaced in 2018 and made the leap to superstardom. The NL MVP's production was mostly front-loaded -- he slashed .336/.432/.692 and slugged 30 of his homers in the first half -- but a refined plate approach was evident throughout. After posting an 0.45 BB/K between 2017 and 2018, Bellinger raised that mark to 0.88 in 2019, good for sixth among qualified hitters. He also turned in a .982 OPS versus lefties, a 200-point jump from his first two years. As if the big power numbers and improved contact rate weren't already enough, Bellinger added value by chipping in 15 steals and playing Gold Glove defense in right field. Bellinger's peak fantasy season might have already arrived, but since he won't turn 25 until July and is the centerpiece of a stacked Dodgers lineup, he'll be a reasonable top-five selection in drafts.
Big things were expected from Bellinger in his second season after he ran away with the NL Rookie of the Year award. He did steal four more bases than he did in 2017 -- albeit in 30 more games -- but his numbers declined in the other standard fantasy categories and all three rates in his slash line, even as he lowered his strikeout rate and improved his BB:K. Those improvements helped him hit .285 and post a .369 OBP after the All-Star break, but that came at the expense of even more power. He also struggled quite a bit against southpaws in year two, as his OPS dipped from .903 to just .681. Despite the overall decline, Bellinger is still a versatile fantasy option, able to play two positions and contribute across the board. The increases in the second half suggest some improvement in plate selection, and there’s plenty of reason to expect Bellinger -- who won’t turn 24 until July 13 -- to bounce back if he can find his power stroke again.
An injury to Adrian Gonzalez opened the door for Bellinger sooner than expected and Bellinger made the most of the opportunity. He finished second in the National League in home runs and tied for 13th in RBI despite spending the first three weeks of the season in the minors and later making a trip to the disabled list. He finished inside the top six in both ISO (.315) and hard-hit rate (43 percent), utilizing a violent uppercut swing to generate immense power. The 22-year-old endured some struggles in the postseason, finishing 4-for-28 with 17 strikeouts in the World Series, and there may be something to those struggles: Bellinger was routinely exploited on inside breaking balls. Perhaps that is a hole that will be exposed more moving forward, but we'll bet on Bellinger's talent and say he figures it out. Look for him to bat cleanup every day after posting a .903 OPS against left-handed pitching as a rookie.
With Corey Seager and Julio Urias both graduating last year, Bellinger now stands as the top prospect in the Dodgers' system. After getting off to a slow start in 2016, the 21-year-old first baseman finished with 26 home runs, slugging 19 of them from July 1 on. Bellinger ended the season with a surge, playing three games at Triple-A where he tallied three home runs and six RBI. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound Bellinger has a sweet left-handed power stroke, and he is athletic enough to play first base or the outfield. His final slash line for the 2016 campaign shows his impressive combination of power and plate discipline. Bellinger will begin the 2017 campaign at Triple-A. Adrian Gonzalez is signed through the 2018 season, so Bellinger's path would appear to be blocked in the short term, though his athleticism could allow him to get some at-bats in the outfield.
Though Corey Seager may have a beef with the voting, Bellinger was named the organization's Minor League Hitter of the Year. The 20-year-old batted .264/.336/.538 for High-A Rancho Cucamonga, a line that included 30 home runs and 103 RBI in addition to 10 stolen bases. As one can imagine by the relatively low batting average, Bellinger swung and missed a lot, fanning 150 times for a 27.6% K-rate, though he did draw a decent number of walks (52 in 128 games). Bellinger hit just three home runs in 51 games in 2014, so while the power spike is due in part to a very favorable hitting environment in the Cal League, the first baseman is clearly one of the organization's top prospects. He will be challenged by a promotion to Double-A this year where he'll be one of the league's younger players. Should Bellinger handle that level of pitching, we should see him on plenty of midseason top-100 prospect lists.
More Fantasy News
Non-tendered by Dodgers
OFFree Agent
November 18, 2022
The Dodgers declined to tender Bellinger a contract for 2023 on Friday, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
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Remains on bench
OFLos Angeles Dodgers
October 15, 2022
Bellinger remains out of the lineup for Game 4 of the NLDS against the Padres on Saturday.
ANALYSIS
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On bench as expected
OFLos Angeles Dodgers
October 14, 2022
Bellinger will sit for Game 3 of the NLDS against the Padres on Friday as expected.
ANALYSIS
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Exiting lineup in Game 3
OFLos Angeles Dodgers
October 13, 2022
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said that Bellinger won't start Friday in Game 3 of the National League Division Series matchup with the Padres, Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
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Goes deep in finale
OFLos Angeles Dodgers
October 5, 2022
Bellinger went 2-for-4 with a solo home run in a 6-1 victory against Colorado on Wednesday.
ANALYSIS
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