While went through growing pains in July, Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig has started to show improved plate discipline. After being called up, Puig went on a tear, but that was before the league got familiar with his tendencies at the plate.
Singles, extra-base hits and home runs were being replaced by three-pitch strikeouts as Puig was going through what every young hitter experiences. Pitchers and managers started to trade secrets about him, but manager Don Mattingly talked to Chad Thornburg of Dodgers.com about his improved plate discipline:
One team did something to him, and it wasn’t long before the next team tried it, and it worked again, and everybody was doing it, just like that. They watch tape, they’d see what happened. It shows on the computer stuff, it shows what he’s swinging and missing at. Then you see everybody trying it, until he leaves it alone, then they have to go somewhere different.
Through the first week and a half of August, Puig is tied for second in the National League with 12 walks. He’s hitting a scalding .480 while he’s been put in the clean-up spot since Hanley Ramirez is sidelined by a shoulder injury.
Susceptible to breaking pitches away, Puig has spit on them recently and waited patiently for a pitch in his zone. The Dodgers return home after a great 7-1 road trip through Chicago and St. Louis.
While people are waiting for the Dodgers’ play to taper off, improved plate discipline from Puig will go a long way in helping the entire Dodger lineup.
In case you missed it, be sure to find out the latest on Matt Kemp’s ankle injury.