In a recent poll conducted by ESPN, the Los Angeles Dodgers had five players voted into the top-100. Clayton Kershaw was voted the second-best player behind fellow reigning MVP Mike Trout, and he was joined in the rankings by Yasiel Puig (No. 19), Zack Greinke (No. 29), Adrian Gonzalez (No. 49) and Kenley Jansen (No. 62).
Whereas a panel of writers and analysts viewed Puig in a positive light, he didn’t receive the same treatment from his peers. In an anonymous poll of 117 Major-Leaguers, Puig received the second-highest votes as the most overrated player in baseball:
Who is the most overrated player in MLB?
Bryce Harper 41 percent
Yasiel Puig 15 percent
Bryce Harper and Puig also finsihed first and second last year in a similar poll, and they were joined by Alex Rodriguez, who received 14 percent of the vote; it should be noted Puig received less of the vote this time around compared to last year (21 percent).
While the Dodgers’ polarizing outfielder was named in unflattering category, one American League pitcher believes he’s best suited for a reality TV show:
It’s Yasiel Puig. He’s completely insane. He’s got to be up to some wacky stuff. That would be the show to watch.” — American League pitcher
Puig is entering his third season with the Dodgers, but just his second full year. With the departures of Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez, more expectations have been placed on his broad shoulders, to which Puig responded well during Spring Training.
Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire believes his understudy is capable of winning multiple MVP awards and general manager Farhan Zaidi said Puig has Gold-Glove potential in right field. Puig got off to a slow start at the plate this spring before turning it around over the last two weeks.
The 24 year old gave the Dodgers a scare Thursday night when he collided with Howie Kendrick due to miscommunication on a fly ball hit to shallow right field. Kendrick’s elbow struck Puig on his neck, which forced him to ground where he remained for several minutes before walking off the field under his own power.
After a successful camp in which he was lauded for his focus, punctuality and work ethic, Puig will be further placed under a microscope come Monday when the Dodgers officially begin their march toward ending their World-Series drought.
Dodgers 2015 FanFest