Searle: Cody Bellinger, two-sided Goliath

From Ginny Searle at Baseball Prospectus on May 30, 2019:

The 2019 season has been bombastic, and the nexus of unexpected ball travel, surprising player performances, and small sample sizes has made it difficult to separate noise from breakouts or breakdowns. Cody Bellinger’s performance, however, has been so consistent and insistent that it’s hard not to think he’s reached a new level. The lanky lefty has a 1.239 OPS on the back of 20 home runs, both figures pacing the majors. In stats both traditional and advanced, the 2017 Rookie of the Year winner is transcendent, suggesting he’s been by far the best player of the season to this point.

Bellinger’s 3.8 WARP leads baseball by seven-tenths of a win, a massive margin at the one-third mark in the season. Extrapolated over the course of the full season, he’s on an 11.2-WARP pace. While the odds are of course against Bellinger maintaining his scintillating start, doing so would put him in the conversation for one of the best single seasons of all time by WARP. Rob McQuown compiled for me the 20 best individual seasons for position players by WARP — which dates back to 1950 — highlighting the illustrious company the 23-year-old could join if he continues at his present pace.

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Originally published: May 30, 2019. Last Updated: May 30, 2019.