Cody Bellinger is fully healthy again, and has found his swing again, to the point of winning National League player of the week honors for the period from April 18-24.
Bellinger last week hit .304/.304/.870 with three home runs, two doubles, a triple, and seven runs batted in last week, helping the Dodgers to series wins over the Braves and home and the Padres on the road. Bellinger’s week culminated in hitting two home runs on Sunday at Petco Park.
Freddie Freeman captured the vaunted “batter of the week” honors here at True Blue LA, but Bellinger will have to settle for the more tangible honor from MLB.
Last year was a lost season for Bellinger, who was coming off shoulder surgery, then missed a month and a half with a broken tibia, and also saw time on the injured list with a hamstring strain and cracked ribs. When he actually played, just 95 games, Bellinger hit .165/.240/.302 with a 48 wRC+. He recovered to hit .353/.436/.471 in the postseason, including driving in the NLDS-winning run in the ninth inning of Game 5 in San Francisco.
A full, normal offseason followed, which allowed Bellinger to strengthen his shoulder. But the question in spring training was whether he’d find his swing. A constant tinkerer, Bellinger tried different stances throughout March, but had just five singles in spring training and an eye-popping 18 strikeouts in 36 at-bats.
Bellinger this season is hitting .273/.333/.582 with four home runs and eight extra-base hits, second among Dodgers regulars in OPS (.915). Last week alone, with his double and home run Monday and two-homer game Sunday, had two games with two extra-base hits, matching his total for all of 2021.
This is the fourth NL player of the week award for Bellinger, who won twice during his rookie season of 2017, and once during his MVP campaign in 2019.