LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers’ fastest baserunner also has more home runs than anyone in the National League.
Cody Bellinger’s unusual combination of power and speed came into sharper focus Tuesday, when Major League Baseball published baserunning data for the entire league on its Statcast website. According to the data, Bellinger entered play Tuesday with a top sprinting speed of 28.7 feet per second. Only 21 players in baseball were faster.
Utility player Chris Taylor (28.5 ft/second) and injured outfielder Andrew Toles (28.4) were the second- and third-fastest Dodgers according to the Statcast metric. Speed was measured in a player’s fastest “one-second window,” an attempt to capture a player’s maximum effort on the basepaths.
Funny thing is, Bellinger had no idea he was that fast. He guessed Toles was faster.
“Me? No,” he said. “I’ve got some sneaky speed in there.”
Bellinger, 21, hit 24 home runs in his first 59 games to seize the NL lead. He was not considered a power hitter coming out of high school, when the Dodgers selected him in the fourth round of the 2013 draft. Bellinger hit only one home run as a senior at Hamilton High in Chandler, Ariz., though he did steal 13 bases in 28 games.
Before his senior year, Bellinger said he always had “average speed.”
“I grew tall my junior year. I was really uncoordinated,” he said. “That year to senior year, I really worked on my athleticism. It kind of took off from there.”
Bellinger entered Tuesday’s game against the Angels with five stolen bases in five attempts. He was 36 for 46 in stolen base attempts in the minors.
“Sneaky fast. I can definitely see that,” Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal said of Bellinger.
The data had some bad news for Grandal: he’s officially the slowest player on the team.
The 28-year-old catcher guessed the dubious distinction either belonged to him or 35-year-old first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. Grandal’s 24.3 feet per second trailed Gonzalez’s…