Don't go overboard for Yasiel Puig
Fantasy owners sure love the prospects, the constant temptation of the unknown with potentially Trout-ian upside, so it was hardly surprising that one optimistic Tweet after another flowed in Monday asking about how otherworldly new Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig would be. Among the outfielders in my timeline people offered up as potential waiver-wire bait included accomplished veterans B.J. Upton, Melky Cabrera, Andre Ethier and yes, even the once-great Josh Hamilton. Never mind that Puig, who made his big league debut Monday night after a mere 40 games at Double-A Chattanooga, is likely not ready for superstardom quite yet.
Puig brings a strong, impressive build to the plate and comparisons to other athletes of similar stature and skill set, but let’s wait a bit before exalting him the next Bo Jackson, Yoenis Cespedes or even former Dodgers outfielder Raul Mondesi. On Monday, Puig blooped a single to center field in his first at-bat off San Diego Padres lefty Eric Stults, then later grounded out to third base, was awarded a generous single when his grounder plunked off Padres first baseman Kyle Blanks and grounded into a fielder’s choice at third. He also ended the victory with a laser throw from right field to first base. He did all this from the leadoff spot, which is precisely where he doesn’t figure to belong with his skill set, but then again, it’s not like Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has Rickey Henderson on the roster. Carl Crawford joined fellow outfielder Matt Kemp on the disabled list Monday -- each with hamstring injuries -- and the team hopes left-side infielder Hanley Ramirez returns from his hamstring malady Tuesday.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports Yasiel Puig had a nice debut, but how long will he actually stick in the majors this time around?