On the heels of one of the most productive seasons in Los Angeles Dodgers history, Cody Bellinger was named a finalist in for 2019 Players Choice National League Outstanding Player. However, he merely placed third, behind Milwaukee Brewers All-Star Christian Yelich and winner, Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon.
The honor was voted on by players and is similar to the NL MVP Award, which Bellinger, Rendon and Yelich are also expected to be named finalists for in the coming weeks.
Rendon batted .319/.412/.598, led the Majors with 126 RBI and paced the NL with 44 doubles for the second consecutive year. He also led all NL players with an 88.3% contact rate.
In 156 games during the regular season, Bellinger hit .305/.406/.629 with 47 home runs, 121 runs scored, 115 RBI and 15 stolen bases. He and Yelich tied for the NL lead in FanGraphs’ WAR at 7.8, while Rendon was not far behind at 7.0.
Bellinger additionally improved against left-handed pitching during the 2019 season, batting a superb .280/.386/.596 with seven doubles, 18 home runs and 44 RBI in 228 opportunities.
To go along with his success at the plate, Bellinger emerged as one of the best defenders in all of baseball, racking up 26 defensive runs saved across multiple positions. For comparison, Rendon accumulated two while Yelich was less than stellar with -1. Bellinger was named a Gold Glove Award finalist.
Bellinger, however, had his hands full against the Nationals in the National League Division Series. He hit just .211/.286/.263 with one extra-base hit in 21 plate appearances across five games.
Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout was named 2019 Players Choice American League Outstanding Player, besting Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman and Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers.
By winning each respective league’s award, Rendon and Trout will receive grants of $20,000 each from the Major League Baseball Players Trust to direct to charities of their choice.
Every 2019 Players Choice Award recipient will designate charities to receive grants totaling $260,000 from the Major League Baseball Players Trust. Since 1992, the Players Trust has recognized the outstanding on-and off-field performances of Players Choice Awards winners by contributing more than $5 million to charities around the world.
In addition to Bellinger falling short of NL Outstanding Player honors, Hyun-Jin Ryu similarly struck out in the 2019 Players Choice Awards as he lost for NL Comeback Player of the Year and the league’s Outstanding Pitcher.