Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger was mispriced in drafts last year after a disappointing 2018 season. Despite a full slate in 2018, he fell well short of expectations with only 25 HRs and 76 RBIs when compared to the numbers of his rookie season (39/97).
In 2019, Bellinger rebounded in a big way, becoming a fantasy monster with steps forward in strikeout rate (16.3 – 23.9 in 2018) and walk rate (14.4 – 10.9 in 2018). He established career-bests in runs (121), home runs (47). RBI (115), steals (15), and batting average (.305); finishing as the third-best hitter by SIscore (10.03).
Against right-handed pitchers, he was dominant (.318 with 29 HRs and 71 RBI over 365 at-bats) with more modest success against lefties (.280 with 18 HRs and 44 RBI over 193 at-bats). His season began with an elite April (.431 with 32 runs, 14 HRs, 37 RBI, and five SBs over 109 at-bats), finishing a great first half (.336 with 70 runs, 30 HRs, 71 RBI, and eight SBs over 318 at-bats).
After the All-Star break, Bellinger came back to Earth a bit and only hit .263 with 17 home runs, 44 RBI, and seven SBs over 240 ABs. Both his CTBA (.378) and AVH (2.065) matched his 2017 season with some added value to his RBI rate (17).
Bellinger also ranked 50th in hard-hit rate (45.5). His swing is fly-ball favoring (42.4 percent) with a strong HR/FB rate (24.6). Over his three seasons, Bellinger had plenty of RBI chances (411 per season), which is set to improve with Mookie Betts likely atop the Dodgers batting order.
Bellinger projects to be a top-five fantasy hitter when drafted in 2020. He has all the tools as a five-category stud that you’re looking for on draft day.
I’ll set his floor at .280 with 40 runs, 15 HRs, 46 RBIs and 7 steals (162-game projection: 110 runs, 40 home runs, 125 RBI, and 20 steals).