Cody Bellinger
Cody Bellinger is massively overrated. Can we acknowledge that Bellinger has massive deficiencies in his game and isn’t close to a blank check player. (Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)

Cody Bellinger Is Massively Overrated

The Los Angeles Dodgers finally got one. For the first time since 1988, the Dodgers are world champions. Well, thanks in large part to Kevin Cash’s heroics. Baseball analytics have gone too far, but one thing has remained the same.

Players in baseball are overvalued or undervalued for several biased reasons. There are a lot of players for LA that are under a microscope today. Some severely underrated (Corey Seager & Walker Buehler), and some severely overrated (No. 50 in right field & Cody Bellinger).

Bellinger is a very flawed player with a very inadequate hitting zone. Bellinger has such an elongated swing that presents massive holes in the zone. In 221 plate appearances in postseason play, Bellinger has a batting line of .189/.262/.368. That’s not by accident. When game planning for an entire series, you can focus on Bellinger’s finite weaknesses.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that Bellinger has an odd swing. He stands upright and steps away from the plate. His swing looks like he’s playing golf and starts from the top of his head. Nothing about his style looks good.

Bellinger’s athleticism and ability to crush balls in the middle outer half of the zone has kept his name relevant. Bellinger took a significant step back in 2020 because what he’s doing isn’t sustainable. A .239 average and 113 OPS+ are far from the superstar level.

Bellinger’s mechanics don’t allow him to thrive in every area of the zone. There’s a way to pitch him. Anything high and or inside and Bellinger will more often than not miss the pitch.

When you take a look at Bellinger’s whiff zone (which means the percentage of pitches that Bellinger just fails to make contact on), it exemplifies the problem’s in his swing.

Cody Bellinger

When Bellinger can loop his way into a ball in the middle or outside part of the plate, he makes excellent contact. Anything high or inside, there’s a massive issue catching up to anything.

There’s a right and wrong way to use analytics. Trust your eyes. Does the information back up what you see on the field? Use analytics to confirm something, not as a way to make every decision in your organization as the end all be all.

Bellinger’s arbitration numbers are about to skyrocket. He would have made $13 million this season (if 162 games were played) and has two more arbitration years to go before free agency. Scott Boras also represents him, so you know he’s only going to the highest bidder.

Bellinger isn’t a terrible baseball player, but this isn’t someone you commit $300 million to and build a franchise around. Not even close. It wouldn’t be the craziest idea in the world to trade him before more teams pitch him the way he gets pitched in the postseason all the time.

The truth of the matter is, Cody Bellinger is a massively overrated player with considerable deficiencies in his game.

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