Dodgers call up former Drillers prospect Cody Bellinger

Taylor Byrd
April 26, 2017

On Tuesday, the Dodgers took a step toward helping their situation by promoting top prospect Cody Bellinger to the majors. It's an aggressive promotion for the 21-year-old first baseman and outfielder, who tore up the 2016 Arizona Fall League and was off to a blistering start this season at Triple-A Oklahoma City.

The move comes just a day removed after the team placed center fielder Joc Pederson on the 10-Day DL with a strained right groin. The kid carries massive offensive potential.

The Dodgers have designated Triple-A right-hander Joe Gunkel for assignment, reports J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group (Twitter link). The 9 and 11 Los Angeles Dodgers have been hit hard by the injury bug and are struggling out of the gate.

One of the best power prospects in baseball, Bellinger was also one of the top defensive first basemen in the minors. According to MLB.com, Bellinger has the following grades from scouts: 55 hit, 65 power, 45 speed, 70 fielding (at First Base).

Bellinger was off to an emphatic start with the club's Triple-A affiliate at Oklahoma City, starting out with a.343/.429/.627 slash line over 77 plate appearances, along with five home runs and 15 runs batted in, across 18 games.

22 days into the season, the Dodgers have waited long enough for Bellinger's arrival. "To kind of shorten the season, condense it, slow play it - whatever you want to say - to now get Julio here and he can be with us for the duration, yes".

Eric Stephen of True Blue LA has speculated that the Dodgers will open a spot on the 40-man roster for Bellinger by moving right-handed pitcher Brock Stewart to the 60-day disabled list. Gonzalez's.266 batting average and.347 on-base percentage don't look bad on the surface, but his.328 slugging percentage is 164 points below his career mark coming into the season.

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