Los Angeles Dodgers Appear to Have a Very Different Yasiel Puig in 2016
Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig just started his fourth season in the MLB, and it’s been an interesting ride, to say the least.
His raw talent has never come into question, but it’s been his immaturity – both on and off the field – that normally led people to wonder whether he could truly experience sustained success. While his lone All-Star season came in 2014, it was what he accomplished upon first getting called up as a rookie in 2013 that got everyone’s attention.
Through the first 38 games of his big-league career (151 at-bats), Puig slashed an eye-popping .391/.422/.616 with eight home runs, eight doubles, 19 RBI and 28 runs scored. That propelled him to finishing second in the NL Rookie of the Year voting behind Miami Marlins ace and fellow Cuban, Jose Fernandez.
While his All-Star campaign of 2014 was a good one, most of Puig’s numbers took a noticeable dip. It wouldn’t have mattered if the trend didn’t continue in 2015, producing a .255/.322/.436 triple slash with 11 homers and 38 RBI in just 79 games.
With too many outfielders for not enough spots, investigating a trade for Puig made sense. He was not a good influence in the clubhouse, but he could intrigue other teams given his age, potential and contract status. But now? He’s transformed from an annoying spare part into a crucial piece of LA’s outfield.