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Yasiel Puig has slowed down, but he’s still damn good

Sep 12, 2013, 10:47 AM EDT

Los Angeles Dodgers v New York Yankees - Game Two Getty Images

Much of The Legend Of Yasiel Puig was built during his incredible first month in the majors, as the 22-year-old outfielder debuted on June 3 and hit a ridiculous .443 with eight homers and a 1.218 OPS for the Dodgers through July 2.

He’s come back down to earth in a big way since then, but here’s the thing: Even if you ignore that crazy first 30 days in the majors Puig has been really, really impressive for a rookie. Dating back to July 3 he’s played 60 games and hit .291 with eight homers and an .840 OPS.

By comparison, leading American League Rookie of the Year candidate Wil Myers, who like Puig is a 22-year-old outfielder, has hit .288 with 11 homers and an .811 OPS in 70 games for the Rays. So basically Puig hit like Babe Ruth for his first month and Myers for the next two months, which is a helluva way to come back down to earth.

  1. detectivejimmymcnulty - Sep 12, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    If Jose Fernandez doesn’t win NL ROY and Puig does it will be a damn shame.

    • wonkypenguin - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:01 AM

      I am a huge (HUGE) Puig fan. And I agree with you 100% that Fernandez deserves it.

    • stoutfiles - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:55 AM

      Fair enough, but before Puig the Dodgers were falling apart and Mattingly was on the hot seat. Then suddenly he gets called up and they beging to dominate. He turned the team around.

      You can give it to Fernandez if you want, but he is in a no-pressure situation in Miami. Puig had the country watching his every move and still put up great numbers.

      • yahmule - Sep 12, 2013 at 12:20 PM

        He certainly contributed in a major way, but two other factors triggered their turnaround as well. Hanley came off the DL and went berserk and Mattingly finally pulled his head out and installed Jansen as closer.

      • paperlions - Sep 12, 2013 at 12:32 PM

        And Greinke started pitching like Greinke can, and Nolasco has been crazy good since they traded for him….it was a total team effort, to which Puig contributed….but he still hasn’t been as good as Fernandez, and will not have played in the majors for as much of the year either.

      • moseskkim - Sep 12, 2013 at 1:18 PM

        For your team to win u need big contributions from everyone. Puig was the reason why they caught on fire. He brought life to a dead team, excitement, passion and it affected everyone. Dodgers have been a great team but wouldn’t have happened without puigs exciting brand of ball

      • jm91rs - Sep 12, 2013 at 6:20 PM

        Is fire a measurable stat?

  2. foreverchipper10 - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:11 AM

    Puig and Myers should be a lot of fun to watch over the next decade.

    • biasedhomer - Sep 12, 2013 at 3:11 PM

      Myers will never get the publicity and reach the fame of the other guys like Puig, Harper, Trout, and Machado.

  3. apkyletexas - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    “Even if you ignore that crazy first 30 days in the majors Puig has been really, really impressive for a rookie. Dating back to July 3 he’s played 60 games and hit .291 with eight homers and an .840 OPS.”

    Sorry, but that’s simply not that impressive. Compare that to what Trout did in his rookie year last season – really there’s no comparison.

    • hustleandflomax - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:39 AM

      Ummm, yeah. Still impressive. Look, I realize this is the internets and some people like you are hard to impress. But because one rookie had an astonishingly amazing rookie year doesn’t mean that’s the STANDARD. As a Cards fan that pretty much can’t stand Puig (in fact it’s making me throw up in my mouth a little bit defending him), you have to recognize that this season for him has still been pretty incredible. You might want to lower your standards for rookies a TAD, or you will find yourself mighty disappointed going forward.

    • jarathen - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:41 AM

      Trout’s rookie season was historic. Unprecedented. You may never see it again. Kind of hard to stack up against it.

    • asimonetti88 - Sep 12, 2013 at 12:03 PM

      You’re comparing his rookie season to Trout’s?

      That’s like saying, oh yeah, that Trout kid is good, but he’s no Babe Ruth.

    • someguyinva - Sep 12, 2013 at 12:07 PM

      An .840 OPS would be 13th in the NL this year if he had enough plate appearances to qualify; that’s pretty impressive in my book. His overall .960 OPS would be 1st in the NL if he had enough PAs.

      Meanwhile, that flash in the pan Bryce Harper and his .878 OPS would be 9th in the NL, if both he and Puig had enough PAs to qualify.

  4. cur68 - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    Meyers and Puig have been great to watch. Exciting young players who bring in fans. But there is one aspect that begs a question: Who Has Better Hair? Advantage Puig. Meyers needs a haircut and some grooming advice. It looks like a bale of hay sticking out from under his batting helmet.

    As for NL ROY: gonna be that Feesh Kid, I think. Unlike Puig, Fernandez has gotten better as the season progressed as opposed to falling off. He’s been virtually a Guaranteed Feesh Win, all by himself. Puig has not consistently carried his team like Fernandez has and, given how abysmal The Feesh are (sorry Gator), that’s one HELL of a thing.

    Regardless of any of this, I think a few ticks above Wil Meyer’s numbers are about right for Puig. He’s about a .300 hitter now that pitchers aren’t challenging him as much. Damn Good as opposed to Out Of This World. I’m guessing he’ll get more patient and make a few adjustments for next season, so he’ll reach base at his Out Of This World clip while still hitting .300. Who wouldn’t want that?

  5. koufaxmitzvah - Sep 12, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    I can create twice that amount with a ditto machine.

  6. jgillmeister - Sep 12, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    Here are Junior Lake’s numbers for the Cubs since his call up. He’s a nice player, but no one here in Chicago is anointing him as the second coming of Willie Mays. Lets all take a deep breath and see what happens before we put Puig’s face on a plaque in Cooperstown

    49 195 21 61 14 0 6 16 10 49 4 4 .313 .356 .477 .833

  7. coloradogolfcoupons - Sep 12, 2013 at 3:32 PM

    Puig’s NUMBERS may have slowed down…they just about had to…but Puig sure has NOT slowed down. It is the speed with which he plays the game…EXACTLY like Trout in that regard, although his baseball IQ is not near Trout’s level yet….that got the lead out of the staid Dodger pants and energized not only the team, but the whole city. His unabashed enthusiasm for the game made his oh-so-cool teammates realize they could actually give 100% effort, instead of mouthing platitudes about it like most MLB players do. It is what excited baseball fans last year when Trout sent our world into a frenzy, who was fast as lightning, powerful, could leap fences with a single bound, snatching would-be HR’s seemingly at will. Puig does it with speed, power, and an arm like a cannon….and 100% effort seldom seen anywhere. A little different than Trout for sure, but considering where he came from, will be more polished in a year, whereas Trout already had the polish. And I truly believe Puig is at least partly responsible for Hanley Ramirez’ surge, which had not been apparent for years, as well as putting a confidence jolt into a team feeling sorry for themselves or something…a team lacking in confidence, manager in trouble, daily questioning from the media etc. There is no comparison in the Dodgers pre and post-Puig, and Dodger fans know the best is still to come. Everybody realizes he is raw, but the sheer joy with which he plays the game is unmatched anywhere, and it has been contagious within the team and the whole city of LA. I would actually love to see Co-ROY to Fernandez and Puig. They both exploded on the game this year, and watching them is what makes baseball the best game ever invented.

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