In the words of Hall of Famer Sportscaster Vin Scully, ” Havana, Cuba has arrived.” It seems like everyone who is a baseball fan around the country is talking about Yasiel Puig. The 22 yr old kid from Cuba is making waves in his first six weeks in the big leagues. He even garnered so much attention that he just fell short of making the National League All-Star Team.
Puig has been a breathe of fresh air for a Dodgers team who had been struggling mightily. On June 3rd he was called up from Triple A and wasted little time making an impact for Los Angeles. He got a base hit in his first at bat and showcased his strong arm by recording an outfield assist on a double play to end the game. In his second game, he hit two home runs and drove in five runs. In his fourth game he hit a grand slam home run against the Atlanta Braves. A few days later at Yankee Stadium he had the crowd oohing and aahing when he blasted a home run into right field. Puig recorded 27 hits in his first 15 games and won Player of the Month in June.
Yaisel is a five tool player which means he hits for a high average with big time power, he can run the bases with good speed and has excellent throwing and fielding skills. When Puig came up six weeks ago, the Dodgers were the laughing stock of the N.L West. Now they sit just a game and a half behind the Arizona Diamondbacks. Puig plays the game with enthusiasm and joy. You can see it on his face when he gets a hit or makes a play on defense, it excites the rest of his teammates. He’s also worked hard to find a niche with the veterans on the team.
Right now Puig is hitting .397 (Avg), 8 (Home Runs) and 19 (RBI). He spent much of last month batting over 400. Now pitchers are starting to figure him out with breaking stuff away and tying him up with the fastball in on his hands. Puig must learn counter this and guard against complacency. Right now he’s one of the most exciting players on a baseball field and his ascendance to instant stardom reminds Dodger fans of ” Fernandomania” back in 1981. Puig has given baseball fans something to talk about over the last six weeks if he keeps this up for his career, we could be talking an All-time great when it’s all said and done. So welcome to “Puigmania” Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s just getting started.