Over the past week, players have started to pour into Florida and Arizona for 2019 Spring Training. The Dodgers don’t have full squad workouts until tomorrow but most of the key names have been at Camelback Ranch for a couple of weeks already. One of those players is Cody Bellinger.
Bellinger has been at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona since pitchers and catchers reported to Spring Training. He has been working on his swing and his mechanics at the plate. One thing he has also been working on is his fielding. Cody Bellinger is a player that can play both first base and all three outfield spots, and he can play them with style. We’ve all seen what he could at first base during his rookie season, but last season he spent half of his time roaming the outfield. Bellinger, though, is a natural born first baseman. The way he digs a ball out of the dirt and watching him slide in foul territory means that he has what it takes to become a future Gold Glove winner at first.
As I said, Bellinger spent most of last season in the outfield where he made some remarkable plays. Most people will remember the plays he made in the playoffs. Specifically in the World Series when he threw out Ian Kinsler at home plate in the Game 3, 13 inning affair. I mean, wow, what a throw. Could Bellinger win a Gold Glove in the outfield as well? He sure thinks he can win one at either of the positions he plays.
This past week Bellinger told Pedro Moura of The Athletic, “I love Center Field. I love First. I will play Right. I will do that. Getting in the lineup is important. Because if I play consistently, whether it’s left field, center, right, first base, I know for a fact I would win a Gold Glove anywhere. And they know I’m a Gold Glove anywhere I go. I just need to be in the lineup everyday.”
The confidence that Bellinger has is great. I don’t think he was being full of himself when he made this statement, I think that Bellinger knows he is a great player and has what it takes to win a Gold Glove at whatever position he plays at. It just depends on whether he is in the lineup everyday. Which was one of his biggest downfalls last season.
Bellinger played in all 162 games for the Dodgers last season, but he struggled against left handed pitching and that resulted in him getting benched during those games. However, Bellinger would obviously come into the game later on against right handers. Like I mentioned before, Cody didn’t see too much time at first base during last season since the emergence of Max Muncy.
In 2018, Cody Bellinger started 85 games at First and then 50 games in Center Field. The rest of the games he played in were either at Right or Left field. So even though Bellinger did get ample amount of playing time, it wasn’t enough at either position to qualify for a Gold Glove award. I believe that the key to winning a Gold Glove for Cody Bellinger is consistency at a position. Splitting half the season at First and the other half in the Outfield is going to hurt his chances of a shiny gold award.
I think that Bellinger will win a Gold Glove award in the Outfield before he wins one at First base. It isn’t because I think he isn’t good enough, it is because Max Muncy pretty much pushed Bellinger out of starting role and plans on keeping it that way. However, I think that Spring Training will truly decide who plays what positions on Opening Day. Muncy is a good First baseman but he isn’t the same caliber athlete as Bellinger.
Will Bellinger win a Gold Glove award this year? That depends on his consistency at one position and his consistency on the field. Only time will tell what happens in his bright future!