The National League had a few promising young rookies make their names known this season.
Rhys Hoskins burst on the scene for the rival Philadelphia Phillies, clubbing 18 homers and driving in 48 runs in just 170 at-bats. Kyle Freeland registered 11 wins for the Colorado Rockies while being good for 3.4 WAR and nearly threw a no-hitter in July against the White Sox.
Ian Happ had a solid rookie campaign for the Chicago Cubs launching 24 home runs while driving in 68 runs and Mets fans saw just how good Paul DeJong was when New York faced off against the St. Louis Cardinals this season. He hit 25 long balls and hit to a .285/.325/.532 clip for the Red Birds.
But none impressed more so than Cody Bellinger of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The 22-year-old broke the National League rookie record for home runs with 39. The young outfielder also drove in 97 runs and hit to a .267/.352/.581 clip while being good for 4.2 WAR and appearing in his first All-Star Game.
We here at MMO all agreed that the award should go to Bellinger.
John Sheridan: Essentially, Bellinger was the National League’s answer to Aaron Judge. He led National League rookies in homers and WAR. More impressively, when he was in the lineup, the Dodgers were 50 games over .500. Seeing his production is more correlation than coincidence.
John Jackson: Similar to Judge, there’s little need to justify the fact that Cody Bellinger will win the National League Rookie of the Year award. His .267/.352/.581/.933 slash line, 4.2 WAR, 39 homers, and 97 RBI will give him a comfortable lead over the likes of Josh Bell and Paul DeJong for the award.
Laney Ortiz: I see no other National League rookie that deserves this award more than Bellinger. With 39 home runs, a trip to the All-Star Game and 97 RBI, he’s a stand out player.
Dilip Sridhar: Bellinger broke records in his own right and played a solid outfield and solid first base. Not much competition for him either.
Josh Finkelstein: In the NL, there will be no surprises as well with Cody Bellinger taking home the award after belting 39 homers in only 480 at-bats on the season.
Rob Piersall: What Bellinger has meant to the Dodgers this season was incredible. Like Sheridan mentioned above, Los Angeles was a much better team when he was in the lineup and that showed when he missed time due to injury. While Aaron Judge was great in his own respect for the Yankees, Bellinger provides an exciting glimpse into the future with his skill set that he showed off this year. Apart from his 39 dingers and 97 RBI, he also had a strong .380 wOBA and 138 wRC+. Yes, the aforementioned rookies such as DeJong and Hoskins had great rookie campaigns in their own right, it’s hard to argue for them to take home the award over Bellinger this year. The only way to go is up for the young stud and I’m sure his talents will be on full display this postseason.
Logan Barer: Instead of looking at this as the typical “Rookie of the Year,” think of it as “most valuable rookie.” Looking at it through those eyes, it is almost impossible not to give the award to Bellinger. Hoskins was record-breakingly impressive, but then again, so was Bellinger and he played more games. The outfielder is also very versatile, playing good defense at many positions including first base. Hoskins and Kyle Freeland are both deserving, but they chose the wrong year to make it to the bigs.
Mathew Brownstein: When the Los Angeles Dodgers called up their top prospect in first baseman/outfielder Cody Bellinger, they were hoping the then 21-year-old slugger could provide an infusion of offense to their injury-infused roster. And Bellinger sure didn’t disappoint. Among rookies, Bellinger led the senior circuit in home runs (39), runs scored (87), RBI (97), Win Probability Added (4.30), and fWAR (4.0). His 39 home runs set a new NL rookie record, surpassing Frank Robinson and Wally Berger (38). Bellinger provided versatility to the Dodgers, playing all three outfield positions and first base, posting plus numbers in defensive runs saved.
What say you, Flushing Faithful? Do you agree that Bellinger will take home the award, or will someone else upset the Dodgers phenom?