After a breakout season with the High-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes in 2015, Cody Bellinger of the Los Angeles Dodgers was ranked as the number-seven prospect in the team’s farm system. Even after the breakout season, Bellinger set out on a mission to improve his body and nutritional health.
Bellinger’s agents at the Ballengee Group put together a “detailed eating/nutrition” program for him so he could put on more weight this offseason.
“Five meals a day,” Bellinger explained. “The snacking in between the meals was important [whether it was] nuts or bananas. Just consistently eating.”
When he’s not focusing on his diet, Bellinger is training with former NFL player Keith Poole in Chandler, Arizona. The two worked out together last year, but it wasn’t until this year that they “really got after it.”
The Dodgers gave Bellinger a program and he followed it, and he also added more weight lifting and focused on other baseball activities so he didn’t lose any mobility.
The result: Bellinger has added 20 pounds of “good weight” this offseason. After playing last season at roughly 185-190 pounds, Bellinger figures to play this year at 210-215 pounds.
Even with the added weight, Bellinger says it won’t hurt his speed in the outfield.
“I went out on the field yesterday and felt the same,” he said.
Bellinger is just 20 years old, but the hard work off the field is nothing new to him. His dad, Clay, played in the big leagues for four seasons with the New York Yankees and the Anaheim Angels and he is still a big influence for him.
“He’s taught me all I know,” Bellinger said of his father. “On and off the field, he taught me to play the game with respect.”
Whenever he is free, Bellinger knows his father is there for him.
“As the offseason goes, whenever I wanted to get work in, he would stop what he was doing and go out to the field and hit ground balls or throw batting practice.”
Bellinger, who plays both first base and center field — a rare defensive combination — took a huge step forward in 2015, his first full season in the minor leagues. With the muscle he has added to his 6’4″ frame, he seems likely to continue that progression at Double-A this coming season.