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Bellinger picks up 1st career Gold Glove Award

@kengurnick
November 3, 2019

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers All-Star Cody Bellinger won the Rawlings Gold Glove Award as outstanding National League defensive right fielder in 2019 on Sunday. Bellinger beat out Bryce Harper of the Phillies and Jason Heyward of the Cubs. “I’m not going to lie -- it’s pretty cool to me,” Bellinger

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers All-Star Cody Bellinger won the Rawlings Gold Glove Award as outstanding National League defensive right fielder in 2019 on Sunday.

Bellinger beat out Bryce Harper of the Phillies and Jason Heyward of the Cubs.

“I’m not going to lie -- it’s pretty cool to me,” Bellinger said on the ESPN 2 awards telecast. “I’d be lying if I said I’m not really happy about this.”

Complete list of 2019 Gold Glove Award winners

Bellinger is the Dodgers’ first Gold Glove winner since pitcher Zack Greinke in 2015, bringing a close to the team’s longest Gold Glove drought since Cesar Izturis and Steve Finley won in 2004 to end a five-year hiatus. Bellinger is the first Dodgers outfielder to win the award since Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp in 2011.

Bellinger’s exceptional and versatile defense is one of the reasons he’s a leading contender to be named the NL MVP.

Primarily a first baseman until this year, he played 115 games in right field, 36 in center field and 25 at first base. He committed three errors in the outfield for a .990 fielding percentage, which led the league’s right fielders. He ranked eighth overall in defensive WAR in the NL and third among outfielders.

“It was my first year out there and I just tried to show what I could do and do it really well,” he said.

Past Gold Glove Award winners: American League | National League

Bellinger’s 10 assists from right field were second in the league to Harper’s 13. He ranked tied for second with Hunter Renfroe in Fangraphs’ defensive runs saved (22) for outfielders.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts predicted the outcome in May.

“I know it’s early and there’s a lot of baseball to be played. But I just can’t see anybody playing a better right field than Cody,” said Roberts. “You’re talking about Gold Glove.”

Bellinger said his highlight play came in a May 27 game against the Mets, when he caught J.D. Davis’ fly ball and nailed Carlos Gomez trying to tag from second to third, Justin Turner taking Bellinger’s throw on the fly and slapping the tag for the highlight double-play.

As one of the NL’s nine Gold Glove winners, Bellinger is now eligible for the Platinum Glove Award, which is given to the best defensive player from each league. Voting for the award, which was established in 2011, is open at Rawlings.com and will continue until 10:59 p.m. CT on Thursday. The two league winners will be announced on Friday.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.