Without question, the biggest piece of Los Angeles Dodgers news last week was Cody Bellinger winning the 2019 Most Valuable Player Award. Now, Bellinger’s place amongst the elite in the game should be cemented.
Furthermore, it’s interesting to hear a player go back in time and talk about his past struggles prior to excellence. For example, Bellinger had an up and down 2018 season. Therefore, Bill Plunkett of the OC Register talks a little bit with Bellinger about that trying season; and what made him a better player.
#Dodgers Cody Bellinger turned the "very humbling experience" of his sophomore season into the motivation that produced an MVP award in his third season.https://t.co/6SrVi0Yd57
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) November 15, 2019
First, Bellinger says it was just a matter of finding consistency. As we now know – he derived some of this through working with the Dodgers’ current hitting staff – who probably are more responsible for MVP Bellinger than anyone realizes.
“It was a very humbling experience, for personal reasons, and I knew that wasn’t the player I wanted to be,” Bellinger said Thursday. “I just needed to find a way to be more consistent with myself. Hitting coaches Brownie (Brant Brown) and (Robert) Van Scoyoc really locked it down for me. When I was going through some things, we’d have great conversations. So there was help around me. It wasn’t just myself.”
Remember – Brant Brown joined Dodgers Nation for an interview prior to the 2019 season. Equally important, he predicted a breakout campaign from Bellinger (or a return of dominating ‘rookie year Bellinger’). Obviously at that time, Bellinger was putting in the work that would make him a future MVP concluding the 2019 season.
Moreover, how telling is this quote from Dodgers’ president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman. Friedman says that Bellinger was intensely focused after the disappointing 2018 season we are writing about.
“From the moment the 2018 season ended, he was a man on a mission to better understand his swing and to become a more complete hitter. The results of that work are being rewarded in the ultimate way.”
Finally, it’s mission complete for Bellinger. The focus will shift to 2020, and the type of follow-up act he will have. Will Bellinger be a one-hit wonder, or a multiple-time MVP in baseball?