Monday, June 03, 2013

Welcome to the Blue, Yasiel Puig!

Here comes the big kid from Cienfuegos, Cuba.

He stands 6' 3", weighs a linebacker-like 245 lbs and is 22-years old.  As you may recall, Yasiel Puig signed a free agent contract with the Dodgers on June 28, 2012 for a mind-boggling $42Mil over 7 years after defecting and establishing residency in Mexico.  At the time, many folks wondered, "wha...?"  After all, Puig was an unknown and it seemed foolish to throw that kind of money at a kid, who by virtue of his defection, hadn't played much Baseball at that time.

Nevertheless, I think most fans liked that the Dodgers brass appeared to be following through with their promise to rebuild the farm system - even if the money spent at the time appeared foolish.  Thankfully, Puig took the bull by the horns and showed why he was valued so highly. 

After signing he was quickly sent to the Arizona Fall League and demolished the ball.  Then, Puig appeared in 14 games for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes and continued to impress.  After the 2012 season, Yasiel had minor surgery in his right elbow for a staph infection, then opted to play Winter League Ball in Puerto Rico to push along his development.

During Spring Training this year he continued to kill the ball as he hit .517 in 27 games.  Puig slammed 3 home runs, knocked in 11 RBI's and recorded a OPS of 1.328.  As the season began he was sent to the Dodgers AA team, Chattanooga Lookouts.  While there, he batted .313 with 8 home runs and 33 RBI's in 40 games.

Yasiel Puig figures on starting for the Dodgers tonight.  In case you're wondering, Puig will wear #66 in his Major League debut tonight.
(twitter link)

Welcome to LA, Puig!

BTW, although the excitement of having this kid in LA is obvious, it cannot be overstated that you should not expect him to be Superman.  He still has a way to go before anyone can anoint him the "next big thing".

(pic link: Dodgers tumblr)

Here are some videos of Puig at bat.

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Here's a home run bat flip by Puig

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

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