That’s one way to start a career. Though it’s only been 51 games, Los Angeles Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger has already exceeded his lofty expectations.
The most impressive part of his game thus far has been Bellinger’s exceptional power. Coming into Monday’s game against the New York Mets, the 21-year-old was sitting on 19 career home runs. With one more, he would tie a record, joining Gary Sanchez and Wally Berger as the fastest players to reach 20 career long balls. Sanchez and Berger accomplished the feat in their 51st game.
That wasn’t a problem. Bellinger tied the record in his first at-bat, belting an 88 mph slider from Zack Wheeler out to center for his 20th home run. He made it look easy.
Turns out, Bellinger isn’t a big fan of sharing. An inning later, he decided he wanted to stand alone in the record books.
That’s right, in his second at-bat, Bellinger smacked his 21st career home run. This time, he sent an 89 mph slider out to center. With the blast, Bellinger has now hit 21 home runs in just 51 career games. That’s a new record.
On top of that, Bellinger now leads the National League in home runs. He passed Milwaukee Brewers slugger Eric Thames, who currently has 20 home runs, to take the lead.
Ready for the best part, though? Bellinger didn’t start 2017 in the majors. He was called up by the Dodgers in late April. Every other major-leaguer had a 20-game head start on Bellinger. He still leads the NL in home runs.
While Bellinger is certainly deserving of consideration, it’s OK if he doesn’t make it to the game. Last time we checked, you don’t have to be an All-Star to compete in the Home Run Derby. The All-Star Game is a great honor, but we selfishly want to see Bellinger inflict massive damage on batting practice fastballs during the Derby.
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