Yasiel Puig was not shy in sharing his desire that he be invited to participate in this year’s Home Run Derby. It would take some time, but eventually Puig was granted his wish at the behest of National League captain Troy Tulowitzki.
Puig hit third for the NL and didn’t make it out of the first round as he went homerless in his Derby debut. He arguably entered the contest with as much promise if not more, than previous Dodgers who competed and he joined Mike Piazza in not hitting a single ball over the fence.
The Dodger right fielder admitted to feeling some nerves and said there will be another opportunity for him, according to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:
It was my first time here, my first time in the Home Run Derby, my first time in the All-Star Game,” Puig said. “I was a little nervous. Imagine it was your first time. … But there’s always next time.”
While Puig may have disappointed with his performance, he wasn’t overly upset s flat appearance:
I came here to have fun, support my teammates and be among the five Cubans that are here,” Puig said through an interpreter. “I just came here to have fun. Maybe next time I’ll do better.”
As for when he may compete in the Derby again, Puig offered next season:
Puig said he would gladly accept an invitation to participate in the Home Run Derby again – “I’d do it as soon as next year” if asked.
Puig’s inability to hit home runs certainly isn’t limited to just the Home Run Derby. He’s hit just one since May and has 12 on the season. Puig will get the opportunity to atone for his Derby faux pas in the All-Star Game as he’s starting in right field and batting second for the NL.
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