After already filling his trophy case with a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger award this week, Cody Bellinger capped it off by being named the National League’s Most Valuable Player.
Bellinger got off to a torrid start this season, posting a 1.397 OPS in the first month of the season. While that pace was obviously not sustainable, Bellinger finished the season with a .305/.406/.629 triple slash, good for “only” a 1.035 OPS. If his success at the plate wasn’t enough, Bellinger also played Gold Glove defense at multiple positions, He played 36 games at first base, but moved to the outfield to help ease a shoulder issue and help get Max Muncy on the field. Bellinger won the Gold Glove in right field.
Bellinger and Christian Yelich were the favorites all season, and while they tied in fWAR (7.8 each), Bellinger took home the trophy with Yelich finishing in second. Anthony Rendon finished in third. Bellinger won by 45 points, receiving 19 of the 30 first-place votes.
Ketel Marte and Ronald Acuna Jr. round out the top five. Notably, Denver Post writer Tracey Ringolsgy gave Bellinger a fifth-place vote (he also voted Yelich fourth and was the only voter to give Rendon a first-place vote). Kevin Pillar also got a 10th-place vote from Henry Schulman. Muncy received an eighth and 10th-place vote, and Hyun-Jin Ryu received an eighth place vote.
Today was about Bellinger, who was a platoon player in the postseason in 2018 and bounced back to be named the Most Valuable Player of the league. Said Dodgers’ President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman (via press release):
“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. His name will forever be etched in franchise history alongside the distinguished list of Dodger greats.”
Bellinger is the first Dodger to win MVP since Clayton Kershaw won it in 2014. He’s the sixth MVP in Los Angeles Dodger history and is the first player in franchise history to win the MVP, Gold Glove and Silver Slugger in the same season. One of those previous Dodger MVP’s, Steve Garvey, had this to say.
“Cody’s season showcased a complete player who excelled on offense and defense, while leading his team to a record-setting regular season. The award establishes you in an elite fraternity as those chosen as the best player. It stays with you a lifetime and there’s only one winner in each league every season. I’m extremely proud of Cody.”
Bellinger was emotional about it on MLB Network.
The pre-show was a bit more on brand for Bellinger.
We stan a resting-stoned-faced king. Also it’s not a coincidence, Bellinger has won an MVP award every year since we’ve added a writer named Cody at Dodgers Digest.
I sentence whoever made this graphic to have to drive from Venice Beach to Dodger Stadium in rush hour.
Roughly a half-hour later, Mike Trout took home his third AL MVP award. This was (somehow) an even closer race than the NL, with Trout receiving 17 first-place votes and finishing 20 points ahead of Astros third baseman Alex Bregman. Future Dodgers Mookie Betts and Francisco Lindor each received top-5 votes as well, but finished in eighth and 15th respectively.
The MVP announcement concludes the awards week, and the Dodgers were heavily represented. Bellinger took home three awards, Ryu finished in second place in Cy Young voting and Dave Roberts finished in fourth place in Manager of the Year voting.