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Yasiel Puig: still raking

Jun 11, 2013, 9:27 AM EDT

Arizona Diamondbacks v Los Angeles Dodgers Getty Images

Just thought it worthwhile to check in on the continuing domination of Yasiel Puig, the Dodgers’ super rookie. Last night: 3 for 4, as he raises his batting average to a cool .500 to go along with an on base percentage of .515 and a slugging of .938.

Downside: his early success has led Don Mattingly to move him to the cleanup spot, which meant that he was on deck during the Dodgers’ would-be ninth inning rally last night rather than a part of it. Of course he can’t be everywhere and at some point Nick Punto and Mark Ellis have to hit. Which is pretty much why the Dodgers are where they are this season, frankly.

Only one walk so far for Puig. One wonders if that will increase now that he’s farther down in the lineup. Or if teams are simply going to start throwing him garbage all the time to see if he chases it.

  1. amhendrick - Jun 11, 2013 at 9:42 AM

    Jeff Francoeur’s first 15 games: .413/.413/.913, 6 HR, 16 RBI.

    • yahmule - Jun 11, 2013 at 10:34 AM

      This ain’t Frenchy.

  2. tvguy22 - Jun 11, 2013 at 9:44 AM

    Teams will need a book on him, then he’ll cool down. Nice start, though.

    • brianc6234 - Jun 11, 2013 at 11:57 AM

      It would help if all they do is throw him junk out of the strikezone. I was looking at his four at-bats. He struck out when they threw him junk. He got hits when they left pitches in the strikezone. It shouldn’t be that hard to get him out.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Jun 11, 2013 at 12:06 PM

        Right. Because that .500 average is, obviously, an oversimplification.

  3. specialkindofstupid - Jun 11, 2013 at 9:50 AM

    Wonderful start, but amhendrick’s Francoeur comment says everything one needs to say regarding getting too far ahead of ourselves about a player. Francoeur was dubbed “The Natural.” Apparently, swinging at pitches a foot off the plate is a natural instinct.

    Hopefully for Puig, he’ll show better patience when teams inevitably begin pitching out of the zone to him.

  4. ezthinking - Jun 11, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    Ellis was 3 for 4 last night.

    Maybe that Crawford guy or that Kemp guy should figure out how to stay on the field this year.

    • Anoesis - Jun 11, 2013 at 11:08 AM

      Or better yet, actually do something when able to play.

      • davidpom50 - Jun 11, 2013 at 11:28 AM

        Yeah, Crawford’s .301/.358/.470 line is terrible. Why won’t he just do something?!?

        The inability to stay healthy is an issue, though.

  5. yahmule - Jun 11, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    I’ve seen most of his ABs. He likes the first or second pitch, but he’s not chasing pitches way out of the zone.

    • davidpom50 - Jun 11, 2013 at 11:32 AM

      Good observation. Vin Scully mentioned last night that 12 of his 16 hits have come on the first or second pitch.

      Dave Cameron at Fangraphs looked at his plate discipline yesterday, and showed a chart of every pitch he’s swung at (through Sunday). Not a whole lot of chasing, and the out of zone pitches he did swing at weren’t WAY out… a few inches inside, a few inches low on the outside part of the plate, and one high heater.

  6. kingscourt25 - Jun 11, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    Are we seriously going to put a damper on his performance because of walks? Has this is what we come to?

    Better yet, what the hell does Jeff Francoeur have to do with Yasiel Puig?

    • yahmule - Jun 11, 2013 at 11:18 AM

      People see one walk and assume he’s up there hacking at everything. This is not the case and if it were, I’m not sure that means he’s doomed to wind up like Frenchy. Maybe we should ask Berra, Clemente, Sangullen, Garr, Gwynn, Puckett and Vlad Guerrero for their input.

    • 18thstreet - Jun 11, 2013 at 11:28 AM

      Well, once there was a player who started well and then wasn’t that good.

      Therefore, you should never get your hopes up over anything.

      • kingscourt25 - Jun 11, 2013 at 11:33 AM

        I’m pretty sure anyone who has watched baseball for a long period of time knows that you shouldn’t get your hopes up. It’s still silly to throw out a blind-less comparison like that.

      • 18thstreet - Jun 11, 2013 at 2:50 PM

        The whole damn point of following sports is to get your hopes up.

  7. Old Gator - Jun 11, 2013 at 11:20 AM

    There are still enormous piles of leaves out by the left field drain trap. Yasiel sniffed at them and left the field. His fame is already going to his head.

  8. koufaxmitzvah - Jun 11, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    “Of course he can’t be everywhere and at some point Nick Punto and Mark Ellis have to hit. Which is pretty much why the Dodgers are where they are this season, frankly.”

    Nope. Wrong guys. Ellis went 3-4 yesterday with a home run for the 3rd run. He has been a great acquisition for the team filling that No. 2 slot real well. The Dodgers slide this year began the moment Ellis hurt himself.

    While Punto has been in a slump, he was batting .330 a couple weeks ago. He’s not our normal lead-off hitter, and he pretty much failed with the tying run on 3rd in the 9th last night, but it’s hard to put the blame on him swinging at the first pitch in that situation (popping up).

    The problem with the Dodgers is their miserable bases loaded average of less than .175. That’s Ethier and Kemp futility combined with Hanley having only 20 at bats this year.

  9. sisqsage - Jun 11, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    League’s the guy that lost them the game last night. If their bullpen isn’t right, they are going to have a hard time getting over .500 even with the new kid on the block from Cuba.

  10. Walk - Jun 11, 2013 at 1:36 PM

    This past series with the braves was the first time I got to see puig other than on the highlight reel. He has a nice smooth swing and it is quick. He hammered the offspeed stuff. I got to see a lot of vlad guerro when he was with the expos and I remember vlad punishing pitches, mostly junk off the plate and puig is kinda reminding me of vlad. I have seen puig compared to everyone from bo Jackson to raul mondesi but my money is on him ending up being more like vlad.

  11. gloccamorra - Jun 11, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    I remember my dad saying, “wait until the other pitchers put their heads together and figure out how to pitch to him.” Isn’t there a rule against that?

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