The Los Angeles Dodgers announced on Tuesday they have called up top prospect Cody Bellinger. The first baseman and outfielder is considered the No. 10 prospect in all of baseball, according to MLB.com. As MLB.com noted, Bellinger “has added loft to his swing and gotten more aggressive about pulling pitches, becoming one of the best power prospects in the minors.”
He isn’t a one-trick pony, however. MLB.com called him a “future Gold Glover at first base” and added that “Scouts rarely rave about a first base prospect’s defensive skills, but Bellinger is an exception who’s smooth around the bag and excels at digging throws out of the dirt.”
Bellinger’s call-up is a bit of a surprise. The Dodgers’ beat reporter for the Los Angeles Times, Andy McCullough, projected Bellinger wouldn’t be called up for a few months. And general manager Farhan Zaidi seemed to indicate Sunday there wasn’t a rush to bring him to the majors.
“With all these guys, it just winds up being a little of both,” Zaidi said of deciding between between bringing up Bellinger based on roster needs vs. the player’s development in the minors, per McCullough. “Especially on a team like ours, that doesn’t have any obvious openings. An opportunity has to be created before a guy can get here. So a guy at his age, at his level of his advancement, with his experience, there’s always things to work on to get better.”
With Joc Pederson on the disabled list and Adrian Gonzalez struggling, however, perhaps the Dodgers saw an ideal moment for Bellinger to gain a bit of MLB experience and a way to improve their lineup in the short term.
By Timothy Rapp