Sports agent Scott Boras revealed the reasons why Cody Bellinger played so poorly in Los Angeles the past few years and it sounds like it the Dodgers hold a large part of the blame.
In 2019, Bellinger’s third year in Major League Baseball, he had the kind of season that is rarely had by someone so young.
As a 23-year-old, Cody Bellinger batted .305 with a .406 on-base percentage, hit 47 home runs, drove in 115, scored 121 times, stole 15 bases, led the National League with 351 total bases and led the Majors with 21 intentional walks.
That herculean season earned him the National League MVP Award.
Then Bellinger dislocated his right shoulder in Game 7 of the 2019 National League Championship celebrating a home run with his teammates.
He would go on to play just 56 games in 2020, batting .239, and just 95 games in 2021, batting an abysmal .165.
In 2022, Bellinger would stay healthy enough to play in 144 games for the Dodgers, but his hitting woes continued. He his just .210 with 150 strikeouts to just 38 walks. (In his MVP season, Bellinger struck out 108 times, but had 95 walks.)
Left for dead by the Dodgers after the season, the Chicago Cubs took a flyer on him this past offseason, offering him a one-year deal to prove himself.
Which is exactly what he has done as he is currently batting .320 with 20 home runs, 75 RBI and 18 stolen bases in 100 games for Chicago.
So what happened between Los Angeles and Chicago that caused such a miracle turnaround?
According to Bellinger’s agent Scott Boras, speaking to USA Today, “He was hurt, plain and simple. He has surgery, and the Dodgers asked him to play with a 35% strength deficiency, and then with COVID, he was deprived of the expert medical treatment. He didn’t have the shoulder strength. You don’t just go from a .900 OPS to a .500 OPS without understanding the impact of an injury.
“So, when he became a free agent, Cody told me, ‘I want to go to teams that know me the best, and I want go go where people understand me.'”
Now, everyone, including the Cubs are going to have shell out some big money to have Bellinger’s services in 2024. Chicago, however, appears to have a leg up since they gave him the chance to show he could still play.
“I love it here,” Bellinger says. “It is great here. Wrigley Field is such an amazing place. We’ll see what happens, but for now, we’re in a playoff race. I’m just trying to go out every day and help this team win.”