MLB Awards: Cody Bellinger unanimously named 2017 NL Rookie of the Year
Bellinger set a new NL rookie record with 39 home runs
Monday night, Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger was unanimously named the 2017 National League Rookie of the Year. That is in no way surprising. Bellinger beat out Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong and Pirates first baseman Josh Bell, who finished second and third in the voting, respectively.
Bellinger, 22, was the odds on favorite to win NL Rookie of the Year thanks to his NL rookie record 39 home runs. He hit .267/.352/.581 overall and those 39 home runs are the third most by a rookie all-time. Only Aaron Judge (52) and Mark McGwire (49 in 1987) went deep more times as a first-year player.
Here's how the three Rookie of the Year finalists stacked up:
This is the second successive season a Dodgers player has won the NL Rookie of the Year award unanimously. Shortstop Corey Seager did it in 2016. Bellinger is the 18th Dodger to win Rookie of the Year, far and away the most for any franchise. Among the previous winners are Jackie Robinson, Don Newcombe, Fernando Valenzuela, and Mike Piazza.
In any other year both Bell and DeJong would've been viable NL Rookie of the Year winners. Just not in the same year as Bellinger. Bell set a new NL record for home runs by a switch-hitting rookie. That's quite the accomplishment. DeJong's 25 home runs are one fewer than Seager hit during his NL Rookie of the Year campaign last year, though DeJong did it in 244 fewer plate appearances.
As a reminder, voting for all major awards takes places after the regular season and before the postseason. These are regular season awards only. The full 2017 NL Rookie of the Year voting results can be seen at the BBWAA's site.
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