As you can see above, the Yasiel Puig era is underway in LA. The Dodgers, faced with mounting injuries, decided to call up their Cuban prospect from Double-A after Carl Crawford‘s broken body landed him on the disabled list once again.
After a hot run in his first exposure to the Eastern League in which he hit .313/.383/.599, Puig is up to the big leagues at the tender age of 22. His debut could not have gone better, as the young Cuban picked up two hits and provided a highlight reel outfield assist to end the game.
Problem solved! The Dodgers are saved!
Not so fast…
— Kevin Modesti (@KevinModesti) June 3, 2013
The problem with Yasiel Puig is the same problem facing every young player in the Major Leagues: baseball is really hard. And despite two hits in his first big league game, they won’t always come so easily.
Most scouting reports on Yasiel Puig run similarly: he has all the tools but still appears quite raw. On top of whatever challenges he faces on the field, there are some makeup/experience questions surrounding the lavishly-paid defector. Bad body language and poor habits might seem inconsequential but once the failure begins, the flaws start to pile up.
Marc Hulet wrote about Puig’s potential impact for Fangraphs, describing the sort of headstrong style of play you love to see from young players while acknowledging the difficulty of the task at hand. Bad/overly-aggressive base running is nothing you cannot coach or learn from experience, it’s the raw power in the bat that made Puig worth more than $40 million when he signed.
Mike Petriello of Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness has a great breakdown of what Puig means now and what he’ll mean in the immidiate future. Mostly, Piuig stands to perform like most raw young players in their first trip to the big leagues: he’ll hit fastballs and get by on his talent before soft stuff away exposes the flaws in his approach and pitch recognition. It’s a show we’ve all seen many, many times before. As Petriello points out, it is a show Dodgers fans watched when Matt Kemp made his big league debut at 21.
None of that matters today as right now there is only the matter of last night’s game – a big win for the reeling Dodgers. The amazing throw from right field is the sort of thing fans can dream on, as Puig translates his enormous bag of tools into a force at the plate, on the base paths, and in the field.
One day. For today, he’s a rookie who had a great debut. No matter how he plays in the coming days and weeks and ever years, it’s unlikely many Dodgers fans will forget his supernova debut.
And the rest
Speaking of those Dodgers, here’s a great read from Sam Miller on “the resource curse” in baseball. [ESPN Mag]
— Jason Parks (@ProfessorParks) June 3, 2013
That’s fun. Draft time!
Why this guy sits out God Bless America [Washington Post]
Carson goes Full Cistulli in this interview with Byron Buxton [Fangraphs]
Peter Gammons on tired baseball (as in, playing when you’re pooped) [Baseball Analytics]
help. wife’s been walking around all day sayin ‘at least we know u won’t be getting throat cancer’ in a real sass tone. what is this
Topical humor delivered from the disabled list. The Complete Brandon McCarthy Experience.