Cubs News

Cubs slugger Cody Bellinger named NL Player of the Month

2 months agoAndy Martinez

Cody Bellinger’s red-hot July helped the Cubs put themselves back into the playoff hunt.

His strong run also was rewarded with a league-wide honor. Bellinger was named the NL Player of the Month for July, the first Cubs player to win the honor since Kris Bryant did so in August of 2016. Bellinger was named Player of the Month in April of 2019. He was named NL MVP that year.

Bellinger hit .400 and had a 198 wRC+ in July and led major league hitters in hits (40), average and total bases (69). He was third in RBI (24), fifth in slugging percentage (.698) and was tied for fifth in home runs (8).

“First of all, congrats to him,” David Ross said. “I think we all saw the writing on the wall a while back when he was having the month he’s having. There’s moments in the season where you feel like a guy carries a team, puts ‘em on his back. I thought he did that for us in a moment where, especially early on, we weren’t swinging the bats really well and he was the one putting up the homers to give us a little bit of a lead, give us some cushion, be aggressive in the zone with our pitching staff.

“That’s the stuff when you talk about MVP-caliber month that he had. I think those little things make such a big difference when you’re putting up those kind of at-bats and those numbers offensively. It just makes the whole team that much better and it allowed everybody else to work through some stuff. Now he’s carrying the expectation every time out in a month and pushing towards the end of the month when the deadline’s approaching and all these other guys just jumped on board and it feels like everybody just started swinging the bats really well.”

He’s been a key force for the Cubs’ lineup and has been so since he returned off the IL on June 15. Since then, he is hitting .363 with 7 doubles, 9 home runs and 29 RBI. That average is the second-best in the majors, behind only Luis Arraez (.387). Bellinger had 4 games of at least 3 hits in the month.

Bellinger beat out Manny Machado (.309/.411/.681.192 wRC+, 11 home runs) for the honor.

Shohei Ohtani was named AL Player of the Month.

Milwaukee’s Devin Williams was named NL Reliever of the Month. Cubs’ reliever Javier Assad (1-0, 0.47 ERA, 20 strikeouts in 19.1 innings) received votes in that category.

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