Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman/outfielder Cody Bellinger broke the major league record for fewest games to reach the 21 home run mark in MLB history on Monday night.
He tied the record for 20 home runs with a three-run, first-inning bomb off Mets starter Zack Wheeler, before breaking it after a solo home run in the second inning. The record-breaking blast came just one inning later, a solo shot of Wheeler to center.
He surpasses current New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez and Wally Berger in terms of fewest games played reaching the mark.
Bellinger opened the 2017 season at Triple-A Oklahoma City and did not make his debut until April 25. It was expected to be a short stint, but he forced his way into the lineup on a daily basis with display of power.
Entering play on Monday, he already had four multi-home run games, now giving him five on the year and three already in the month of June alone.
Coming into Monday’s game against New York, Bellinger was batting .261 on the year with a .333 on-base percentage with as many home runs as singles (19).
The 21-year-old phenom was rated as highly as the No. 7 overall prospect in the game by Baseball America heading into the season. His power has been on display in the minor leagues over the past two years, slamming 30 home runs in 2015 and 26 last year.
With Adrian Gonzalez sidelined due to back injuries, Bellinger has taken over as the team’s first baseman and has not only put himself in the National League Rookie of the Year conversation, but also the NL MVP race for 2017.