NEW YORK – (Wire Service Report by The Sports Xchange) – Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger began the season in the minors and ended it as a unanimous choice for the 2017 National League Rookie of the Year.
Bellinger received all 30 first-place votes in the voting conducted by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, giving the Dodgers the top NL rookie honor for a major league-best 18th time.
“Yeah, it’s a huge honor,” Bellinger told MLB Network reporters Monday. “To take this award home with me is really special. Now that the season is over I’m really trying to reflect (on) how crazy this season was.
“To have this award right now to top it off … is really special to me.”
Shortstop Paul DeJong of the St. Louis Cardinals finished second in the voting and was followed by Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Josh Bell.
Bellinger set an NL rookie record for home runs with 39, eclipsing the previous mark of 38 held by Wally Berger (1930) and Frank Robinson (1956).
The 22-year-old Bellinger became the fastest player to reach 21 home runs in major league history, doing so in 51 games and breaking the mark of 20 homers in the same number of games by Berger and New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (2015-16).
The first rookie in franchise history to hit for the cycle, Bellinger did not debut until April 25 and wound up batting .267 with 97 RBIs and 87 runs scored in 132 games.
Bellinger is the second straight Dodger to win the award, following shortstop Corey Seager in 2016.