The youth movement in the NL West is on.
One day after the rival Giants promoted hot-hitting prospect Christian Arroyo to the Majors, the Dodgers followed suit with a big-name promotion of their own. Cody Bellinger, the No. 10 overall prospect according to MLB.com, is on his way.
Los Angeles promoted the 21-year-old from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Tuesday, one day after he made his 2017 debut in left field. Despite starting the season as the fifth-youngest player in the Pacific Coast League, Bellinger hadn't missed a beat since his strong three-game debut for Oklahoma City last season, in which he went 6-for-11 with three home runs and six RBIs.
The 6-foot-4, 210-pound slugger struggled in his second stint at Major League Spring Training -- going 12-for-58 with two homers, 10 RBIs and 20 strikeouts -- but got off to a fast start in Oklahoma City, recorded three multi-hit games in his first five. He was sitting on a .343/.429/.627 batting line through 77 plate appearances despite striking out at a 28.6 percent clip, a big jump from his 20.3 rate in 2016, which he spent mostly with Double-A Tulsa.
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Bellinger added a new wrinkle to his game this season though, stealing seven bases without being caught after swiping 29 bags in 343 games entering the season. He also stole two bases this spring without being caught.
Joc Pederson's trip to the disabled list with a groin injury has opened up room in Los Angeles' outfield, where Bellinger was always more likely to make an impact at some point this season than at first base, where he's blocked by veteran Adrian Gonzalez. Bellinger has started three games in the outfield at Oklahoma City this season after making 34 starts there last season.