Since signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Yasiel Puig has been critiqued to no end and as a result, is one of the more polarizing figures in MLB. Puig’s exuberance, on-field antics and tendency to bypass baseball norms have created the perception that the young Cuban isn’t “playing the game the way it should be played.”
In a poll of 143 anonymous players conducted by ESPN the magazine, Puig finished second in voting for the most overrated player. Washington Nationals left fielder Bryce Harper finished first in the poll, taking home 24 percent of the votes to Puig’s 21 percent. Harper finishing ahead of Puig is somewhat of a surprise considering all the negative backlash the Dodger outfielder received last season from both media members, and current and former players.
One potential explanation as to why Puig was quickly viewed in a negative light is the large contract the Dodgers signed him to before the 23-year-old had proven himself in the majors, much less the Minor Leagues. Making matters worse for Puig, he helped spark the Dodgers turnaround shortly after being called up. His early success and aggressive playing style went against typical protocol and Puig continues to pay the price.
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ICYMI: Yasiel Puig talked about the difficulty in adjusting to life in the United States