SAN DIEGO -- Since his April debut, Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger has torched National League West pitching. The Padres have taken an interesting new tack to combat the rookie slugger.They drafted his younger brother.With their 15th-round selection on Wednesday, the Friars selected Cole Bellinger, fresh off his state title
SAN DIEGO -- Since his April debut, Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger has torched National League West pitching. The Padres have taken an interesting new tack to combat the rookie slugger.
They drafted his younger brother.
With their 15th-round selection on Wednesday, the Friars selected Cole Bellinger, fresh off his state title with Hamilton High School in Chandler, Ariz. Cole, a right-handed pitcher, possesses a starkly different skill set from his older brother, a left-handed hitting first baseman.
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Once Cole saw his name pop up on MLB.com's Draft tracker, it didn't take long for his mind to wander toward the possibility of pitching in the same division as his brother.
"That would be awesome," said Cole. "If everything goes right and someday I sign and make it to the big leagues and get to pitch to my brother, that would be the coolest experience of my life."
As Cole tells it, the two brothers -- with a four-year age gap -- played plenty of Wiffle ball growing up. But they've only actually squared off once on an actual baseball field.
It was two years ago during Hamilton High School's alumni game. Cole threw a first-pitch fastball; Cody lined a single.
"I took it easy," Cody quipped.
The next time they square off could very well come on a Major League field as division rivals.
"It would be awesome," said Cody. "It's a long road, and he knows that. The rest of our family knows that. But I'm excited for him to start."
First, Cole -- whose father Clay played four big league seasons with the Yankees and Angels -- would need to sign with San Diego. He's currently committed to Grand Canyon University.
"I'm just waiting to talk with the Padres and my family, see what we want to do," Cole said. "Obviously, it's ultimately my decision. But [having a baseball family] makes that a lot easier."
The two brothers were drafted by current Padres executive Logan White, who served as Dodgers scouting director when Cody was taken in 2013.
Cole also played second base in high school, but he's unquestionably a pitcher in the long term. He possesses a four-pitch mix with a fastball, curveball, slider and changeup.
"He came to a workout, threw for us, and our entire group was excited about our upside," said scouting director Mark Conner, who also praised the Bellinger family as being "wired the right way" to succeed in the Majors.
In his senior season at Hamilton, Bellinger posted a 2.06 ERA in nine starts. He pitched four scoreless frames in the state title game and earned the win.
Naturally, Cole credits a lot of his success to his older brother.
"He obviously helped me from a hitting standpoint," Cole said. "As far as the past couple years, being in the Majors, he's definitely helped me realize that's what I want to do. He's talked to me about how cool it is, but how much hard work it takes. He has, hopefully, guided me down that path."
AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.