Cody Bellinger

Cody Bellinger wins utility Silver Slugger award after resurgent season with Cubs

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Already winning the NL Comeback Player of the Year, it's no secret that Cody Bellinger's reemergence as one of the game's elite hitters in 2023 was vital to the Cubs' vastly improved offense.

On Thursday, Bellinger received an additional honor for his excellent season.

Recently introduced in 2022, Bellinger was awarded the Utility Silver Slugger, given to a player who spent significant time at more than one position throughout the season.

Bellinger was a prominent contributor for the Cubs at both center field and first base in 2023 in a season that saw the 28-year-old return to his previous MVP form.

In 130 games, Bellinger hit 26 home runs, 29 doubles and stole 20 bases while leading the Cubs' high-octane offense with 97 RBI.

Bellinger slashed an excellent .307/.356/.525, compiling an .881 OPS and 133 OPS+ in the best marks of his career since his 2019 MVP season.

The return to form for Bellinger is seemingly more pronounced considering the lows the utility man has weathered.

Battling through injuries in 2021 and 2022, Bellinger hit his career lows in the former season, slashing just .165/.240/.302. Bellinger managed a higher batting average in 2023 than his 2021 slugging percentage.

Bellinger's precise contact hitting gave him a career high in batting average while also finishing sixth in MLB in the category.

Having an NL Rookie of the Year, NL MVP, Gold Glove and World Series ring under his belt heading into 2023, Bellinger wins his second career Silver Slugger with Thursday's recognition.

Bellinger's first Silver Slugger award came in 2019, when he won the award as an outfielder.

Bellinger was also named as an outfielder finalist for his 2023 performance, while teammates Seiya Suzuki and Dansby Swanson were named as finalists for outfield and shortstop, respectively.

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