The early numbers prove the Chicago Cubs made the right Cody Bellinger decision

Cody Bellinger has heard all of the questions surrounding his weak contact and taken out his frustrations on the baseball so far this season.

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Cody Bellinger became the first $30 million dollar AAV player this offseason and so far that decision appears to be paying off in spades. 

In what is, admittedly, an impossibly small sample size Bellinger has been the epitome of what you’re looking for from someone being asked to hit in the middle of the order.

The Numbers

He’s hit .300/.389/.433 to open the season despite a very truncated spring training, but those aren’t the stats that anyone has ever questioned from him.

The questions surrounding Bellinger have always been around the batted ball data. 

The Advanced Numbers

Last season many pundits questioned whether or not Bellinger’s comeback was real based on his low exit velocities (EV) and launch angles. 

Last season saw Bellinger have a career-low average EV of 87.9 MPH. That was 2.9 MPH slower than his Rookie of the Year campaign in 2017 and 3.2 MPH slower than his MVP season in 2019.

Through the first four games this season his average EV is 92.4 which would be 1.3 MPH faster than his MVP season. Beyond that, he’s increased his launch angle to 25.5 degrees which puts him in the optimal range for home runs according to fangraphs.

Another thing you need to have from a $30 million dollar man is the ability to hit in the clutch situations.

So far this season, Bellinger has six RBI. One of those RBI gave the Cubs a lead that they’d go on to squander in the first game of the season, but the others added key insurance runs late in games.

Bellinger is not going to be a player that hangs his hat on exit velocity like Elly De La Cruz or Oneil Cruz. However, if he can continue to hit the ball harder than he has in his career, with a better home run trajectory in more clutch spots, then this looks like a great investment.

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