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Yasiel Puig!

June 8th, 2013 · No Comments · Baseball, Dodgers

As a Dodgers fan since Vin Scully was a young man and the club was still playing in the Coliseum, I have been paying attention from afar to the first week of Yasiel Puig.

My appetite for information on him is whetted by his presence (since March) on my fantasy team … a guy I left a roster spot for even when he was in Double-A.

A few observations about the Dodgers’ outfielder:

1. I assume every follower of the Dodgers is asking: “Why did the club wait two months before promoting this guy?” We know what the answer is: In Carl Crawford, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier, they already had a very expensive outfield in place — guys getting $21 million, $20 million and $13 million this year, respectively. (Or more than the Houston Astros and Miami Marlins are paying this season for entire teams.) But the point of this is … if Puig is better than any of those three guys, and he appears to be, you have to play him. You don’t field a team on the basis of who is best-paid. Geez.

2. I would not be as aware of Puig, nor have drafted him with the 260th pick (of a 300-player draft), back in March, were it not a co-worker and fellow American, here in the UAE, a bigger Dodgers fan than I am. He watched lots of Dodgers during the exhibition season, and he came into the office on several days and said, “You wouldn’t believe this guy Puig.” So, yes, thanks, Steve.

3. From the clips I have seen, he reminds me more than a little of both Raul Mondesi and Pedro Guerrero. Both massively gifted outfielders with speed and power, but more than a little raw. But the down side to that is … neither one of those guys had the career he could have/should have had. Both seemed to get squirrely once they began making real money, and Puig already is making real money. The Dodgers gave him $42 million last summer.

4. And the big part of this, for Dodgers fans: The change in atmosphere around the club just in Puig’s first five days in the bigs. People back home tell me the club was dead. Bereft of energy. Joyless. Headed for oblivion with nary a peep of protest. And then Puig showed up, and had two hits in his first game and got the final out on a 230-foot no-hop rocket to first to double off a baserunner. The next night he put two baseballs in the seats.

And now he could be Mike Trout redux. A once-in-a-generation rookie — for the second time in two years.


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