On February 13, 2017, I wrote this:
I have been telling you a few things over the Winter:
Julio Urias is going to have a breakout year;
Yasmani Grandal will come close to 40 HR;
Willie Calhoun won’t play 2B due to horrible defense and lock of foot speed;
Among Ryu, McCarthy and Kazmir, at least two will be contributors; and
Cody Bellinger is ready.
A few days later, I wrote:
Cody Bellinger! Budding Superstar! He’s ready, I am telling you!
- #1 is yet to be determined;
- #2 won’t likely happen;
- #3 is still to be determined
- #4 I was right on; and
- I nailed #5!
Cody “Freak of Nature” Bellinger!
The fastest Dodger to get to 20 Home Runs in the history of civilization! What a find! Logan and Ned deserve a lot of credit for this. This is a classic example of how players develop differently. Cody Bellinger was a 4th round pick and hit 4 HR in his first two years, although he showed he had the ability to hit for average. Then, in 2015 he broke out with 30 HR and followed that up with 26 in 2016. Now, he’s on pace for about 50! 50 would really surprise me, but 40 appears likely. He just is such an amazing player – they say he’s a huge student of the game, studying film for hours. That’s how he makes the adjustments when the league adjust to him. Soon, they will quit throwing him strikes and Chris Taylor, Yasmani Grandal and Joc Pederson will have to make them pay.
He’s a good baserunner, so whoever is hitting #5 will see a lot of fastballs. See, here’s the thing: First Base now belongs to Cody Bellinger. Adrian Gonzalez has been Wally Pipped! A-Gon will get a few starts at 1B, but it’s Bellinger’s position. A-Gon will be a very nice (albeit expensive) pinch hitter and sub), but he will do it without complaint, because (1) He’s a good dude; (2) Even Ray Charles can see Bellinger has to play there; and (3) That’s how he will get a ring.
It was suggested that JD Martinez would be a fit for the Dodgers? Where would he play? Is he going to take Taylor’s spot? I don’t think so. I wouldn’t trade Taylor for JD. After further review, I would not even trade Taylor for Ozuna! Chris Taylor is the real deal. He is hitting .302 with a .386 OB% and OPS’ing .909. He had a little slump but adjusted and is having a very solid year. He has settled in nicely at #5. This is a guy who has developed power later as well. He’s also fast (8 for 10 in SB’s) and has 13 doubles to go with his 9 HR in 179 AB’s. He can also take a walk – he has a good eye and I see him only getting better, not regressing.
If necessary, I believe Chris Taylor can play CF on a Championship team. Chris is rapidly becoming one of my favorites. I love the way he plays the game! Joc Pederson has shown signs of improvement and adjustment lately but he is a question mark to me. With Puig in RF hitting 8th, that position is set. Taylor has a spot and if Joc can’t cut it, Taylor moves to CF and Alex Verdugo or Willie Calhoun moves to LF. I hear Franklin Gutierrez is really struggling with his health – more so than anticipated. He is an excellent pinch hitter against LH pitching, but you can’t have too many of those guys. Verdugo led off at OKC last night and went 2-4 (.335, .409 OB%). Calhoun is back at 2B, so they evidently don’t think he can learn LF this season. I think Verdugo gets the call soon. Let’s see what he can do in LF!
- Ross Stripling pitched a clean inning with 2 K’s last night as Thompson hit his 6th HR (.208 BA).
- Rios continues to rake at AA – he hit his 13th HR last night and Shibuya went 4 allowing 1 hit.
- RC and GL not play
I think it was Adam who asked me how my son knew Morgan Freeman: My son was “first camera” on The Story of God and flew around the world for 6 weeks with Morgan in his private jet with 2 pilots and 5 armed bodyguards. So he spent a lot of time with him. He says Morgan is the best person he has ever worked for and Morgan uses him on other projects as well. He has shot several major motion pictures (Men in Black 3, etc.) and regularly does SNL. This is what he does:
He flew back for my youngest son’s Graduation and Birthday and Father’s Day. Here he is with my wife and I and my daughter on Father’s Day.