ATLANTA -- There is a unique sound when Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger squares up a baseball. The sound seems to vibrate throughout the stadium as his short, compact swing drives through the strike zone.On Wednesday night, Bellinger showcased his immense power as he blasted his 30th home run of
ATLANTA -- There is a unique sound when Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger squares up a baseball. The sound seems to vibrate throughout the stadium as his short, compact swing drives through the strike zone.
On Wednesday night, Bellinger showcased his immense power as he blasted his 30th home run of his sensational rookie season. It was his second home run in two games, but the Dodgers fell, 5-3, to the Braves at SunTrust Park, snapping their nine-game winning streak.
Bellinger became the 10th National League rookie to hit 30 home runs and the first since Ryan Braun and Chris Young achieved the feat in 2007. Bellinger is currently five homers away from tying the Dodgers' all-time rookie home run record held by Mike Piazza (35 homers in 1993).
"It is impressive and he is a baseball player," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "Cody does a lot of things defensively and in the batter's box. To be the 10th player is pretty phenomenal."
According to Statcast™, the home run traveled a projected distance of 410 feet and had a launch angle of 30 degrees. It was classified as a barreled ball with a 103.3-mph exit velocity.
Since his contract was purchased from Triple-A Oklahoma City on April 25, Bellinger leads the Majors in home runs. Prior to Wednesday's homer, Bellinger's average launch angle on home runs was 27.5 degrees and his average exit velocity on homers sat at 104.5 mph.
"His bat stays through the zone for a very long time and he makes solid contact every time," Dodgers catcher James Farmer said. "He is a very smart hitter and is good at what he does. He watches film on his swing all the time and is one of the best hitters in the league."
Bellinger's season hasn't surprised Farmer. The two were teammates in the Dodgers' Minor League system, and Farmer said that a lot of Bellinger's success comes from his work ethic and humble personality.
"He hasn't changed one bit from the Minor Leagues to up here," Farmer said. "His personality is still the same and he is just really fun to be around."
Bellinger has taken command of the NL Rookie of the Year Award race and has even earned some legitimate talk as an NL Most Valuable Player Award candidate. If he keeps up his torrid production, it could very well happen.
"Everybody knew this was going to happen," Farmer said. "When I was in [Class A Advanced] Rancho [Cucamonga] and [Double-A] Tulsa, he was putting up stupid numbers as well. He is a great kid and is very humble and enthusiastic."
Jaylon Thompson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Atlanta.