Cody Bellinger Voted 2023 National League Comeback Player Of The Year

Former Los Angeles Dodgers MVP and current Chicago Cubs free agent Cody Bellinger was voted the 2023 National League Comeback Player of the Year. Chicago White Sox free agent Liam Hendriks received the honor for the American League.

Comeback Player of the Year winners have been presented annually since 2005 and are based on voting by beat writers.

After getting non-tendered by the Dodgers following the 2022 season, Bellinger went on to sign a one-year contract with the Cubs that included a mutual option for 2024.

Bellinger hit .307/.356/.525 with 29 doubles, 26 home runs, 97 RBI, 95 runs scored, 20 stolen bases and a 134 wRC+ while playing stellar defense. Bellinger also reduced his strikeout rate to 15.6%, roughly 7% below career average.

The 20 stolen bases represented a career high for the 2017 NL Rookie of the Year, and this past season was the first time Bellinger reached 20 homers and swiped 20 bags in the same year. He became the seventh player in Cubs franchise history to accomplish the feat.

Bellinger, Ronald Acuña Jr. and Freddie Freeman were the only players to bat at least .305 to go along with 25 home runs and 20 stolen bases this past season. Bellinger continued his strong production throughout the second half of the year as he led all players with 75 RBI from July 1 through the end of the regular season.

Part of Bellinger’s bounce-back season entailed a successful return to Dodger Stadium, where he was initially treated to a standing ovation and loud cheers. But as the Cubs won two of three games and Bellinger robbed Jason Heyward of a home run, he was booed by fans.

“I think when I knew I wasn’t coming back here, it hit me just how many amazing memories that I had,” Bellinger said of his Dodgers career. “My younger self would be really proud of me. A lot of good memories here at this field and the fans showed me nothing but love for six, seven years.”

Heyward, who had a disappointing finish to his career with the Cubs in 2022, was among those who received votes for NL Comeback Player of the Year.

Cody Bellinger free agency

Bellinger declined his $25 mutual option with the Cubs and has reportedly drawn interest from several teams, including the New York Yankees, San Francisco Giants and Toronto Blue Jays.

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