Has Mike Trout Been Dethroned as Baseball’s Best?

Is Cody Bellinger the best baseball player in the league right now?

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Total Votes : 5

Scroll down to see how people across America voted.

When the debate about the best player in baseball comes up, it usually ends with two words: Mike Trout. Trout has been seen as the best player in the league since his rookie year back in 2012 and is well on his way to becoming the best player in MLB history in terms of talent and production.

And the 27-year-old Anaheim Angel has done nothing to lose the title in 2019, as he is having yet another stellar season. But, there is another player just down the freeway from him in Los Angeles who is doing everything he can to take that title away from Trout.

Through 32 games, Cody Bellinger is hitting an otherworldly .431/.508/.890 with 14 home runs, 32 runs, and 37 RBI. He leads baseball in all categories except home runs, which he is tied for the lead in.

And for those who are fans of the sabermetrics, Bellinger leads all players in WAR (3.5 according to baseball reference), wRC+ (weighted runs created plus), and wOBA (weighted on-base average), making him the early front-runner for the NL MVP.

He has walked more than he’s struck out and is hitting lefties at an elite rate. The last two are crucial because they were his most significant weaknesses in 2018 and what led to his regression and getting benched in two World Series games.

But they have become strengths and are significant reasons as to why he’s been raking. Bellinger’s strikeout rate is down to 11.4%, half his career mark, and he has an OPS north of 1.100 against southpaws.

To put his hot start into perspective, Bellinger has more total bases (97), than Babe Ruth had at this time when the late legend broke the single-season record (457) in 1921. The youngster also has more hits (47), than Ichiro Suzuki had at this time when the Japanese superstar broke the record for most hits in a single-season (262) in 2004.

He also has more RBI (37), than Hack Wilson had at this time when he broke the single-season record (191) in 1930. And Bellinger has more home runs (14), than Barry Bonds did at this time when he broke the single-season record for homers (73) back in 2001.

The 23-year-old’s 1.413 OPS through 30 games was the highest since Barry Bonds’ 1.540 mark 15 years ago, and the fifth-highest mark through 30 games in the live ball era, dating back to 1920.

Bellinger has carried the Dodgers to the top offense in the National League, while star teammates such as Corey Seager and Justin Turner have come out the gate slow.

The reason that we can have this conversation about the best player in baseball is that the Dodgers first baseman/outfielder isn’t a random player who has come out of nowhere and shocked the world, but has sharp regression written all over.

Bellinger comes with pedigree and talent. He set records as a rookie back in 2017 that saw him hit 39 home runs in just 132 games and win the National League Rookie of the Year Award unanimously, placing him among the game’s best up-and-coming stars.

This is just him merely living up to his superstar talent; all at the ripe age of 23. And he’s been effective all over the field.

Metrics have him as the top defender in right field this season, while he can also play a gold glove first base.

He has five stolen bases and has the top-end speed that places him among the fastest in the sport. Simply put, his blend of athleticism, speed, bat, and glove is unheard of.

The question now is whether he can sustain these numbers. Recently, he hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down. His contact rate, type of contact, launch angle, and swing-and-miss percentage indicate that he is for real and en route for the ultimate breakout season.

With his emergence, there’s no doubt that at this rate, the game’s two best players reside in Southern California, and this time, you can actually debate who’s number one.


Here’s how people on the Zip app are weighing in on this all over the country!

Is Cody Bellinger the best baseball player in the league right now?

Totals
22% I think so
78% Debatable
Males
27% I think so
73% Debatable
Females
5% I think so
95% Debatable

I think so

Debatable


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