Not only is Bellinger on pace to cement himself in the franchise record books, he’s doing it a faster pace than Piazza, who needed 149 games to accomplish the feat.
Bellinger is tied with Mark McGwire for the most home runs in Major League history through 96 games. Bellinger has also already tied Ryan Braun (2007) and Walt Dipo (1950) for the 12th most home runs by a rookie.
“A lot of guys in our clubhouse are having really big years,” manager Dave Roberts said, “and getting some acclaim, and that’s great.”
Since the All-Star break, Bellinger is batting .307 with 17 runs, three doubles, one triple, nine home runs and 21 RBIs to go along with a .993 OPS.
One club that has taken the brunt of Bellinger’s season is the Padres, who have seen the rookie trot around the bases four times this season. Bellinger is also slashing .419/.471/.806 in seven games vs. San Diego. He continued that dominance on Saturday, going 3-for-3 with the homer and a stolen base.
Chris Taylor, who played with Bellinger at Triple-A Oklahoma City, has seen Bellinger’s ride firsthand.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” Taylor said. “I had the opportunity to play with Cody in Triple-A, and I’ve seen what’s he can do. It doesn’t surprise me at all.”
Joshua Thornton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.