Just as soon as we thought we had one rookie slugger from a major market (Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees who was discussed earlier this month in the Independent Sports News Fantasy Baseball Report) dominating the fantasy baseball landscape, all of a sudden we have two rookies as Judge has company.
Cody Bellinger, who is playing either the outfield or first base for the Los Angeles Dodgers, currently leads the National League with 24 home runs. If you did not select Bellinger in your fantasy pool this season, do not beat yourself up too hard.
Bellinger didn’t start playing for the Dodgers until April 25, and once he got called up from the Oklahoma City Dodgers of the Pacific Coast League, he has only done one thing. That is hit for power. In 215 at bats, Bellinger has 38 extra base hits (also has 13 doubles and one triple). He is averaging an extra base hit in every 17.6 at bats this season. Not bad for a rookie.
Bellinger’s instant power also helps Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner, who is hitting ahead of Bellinger in the lineup. Teams will be less reluctant to pitch around Turner (who has a sizzling batting average of .393), because they know that there is first year power threat right behind him in the Dodgers’ batting order.
Meanwhile it is time for you to put Turner in your lineup everyday with confidence. The native of Long Beach, California was out with a mild hamstring strain for three weeks, but upon his return on June 9, Turner has been seeing the baseball just fine. He has hit safely in 12 of 14 games with four home runs and 11 runs batted in.
If you are living in the Eastern Time zone, one common mistake is that people simply forget about the sluggers out west. It is important not to forget about Cody Bellinger and Justin Turner of the Dodgers!