The Dodgers have called up top prospect Cody Bellinger, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com and later confirmed by the team. The 21-year-old first baseman will join the team for its series against the Giants in San Francisco.
Bellinger was brought up one day after the Dodgers had to place center fielder Joc Pederson to the 10-day disabled list with a groin strain. Bellinger is expected to play in the outfield for the club, according to Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times., even though he is listed as a first baseman. Ballinger’s call-up also came one day after the Giants promoted one of their best prospects in third baseman Christian Arroyo.
A fourth-round selection by the Dodgers in the 2013 MLB Draft, Bellinger has quickly worked his way to the majors. He did really well in the minors over the last seasons, as he hit 30 home runs and had 103 RBI in High-A Rancho Cucamonga in 2015 and smacked 26 homers with 71 RBI while playing at Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City in 2016.
This year, Berlinger entered as the top-ranked first baseman by Baseball America and the No. 7 prospect overall, but didn’t have a great spring training, as he slashed .207/.294/.345 with two homers and 10 RBI in 30 games. After being sent back down to Oklahoma City, the left-handed power hitter showed he could play by batting .343/.429/.627 with five homers and 15 RBI in 18 games.
Bellinger is also considered a future Gold Glove candidate. He may be able to replace Andrew Toles eventually in left field.