The Dodgers haven’t had the best season to date, but things have turned around in terms of excitement with the call-up of Cuban outfielder Yasiel Puig.
Puig was signed by the Dodgers last June to a seven-year $42 million contract and were criticized by many for their investment in the Cuban import.
Keith Law of ESPN.com had this to say about the Puig signing at the time:
“Based on what I’ve heard about Puig, this is a bizarre overreaction to the upcoming international spending cap, and a huge bet that, despite a stiff swing and less athletic body than Soler, Puig’s bat is good enough to justify an investment of this size.”
Unfortunately for Law, Puig came up and dazzled the entire baseball world with four home runs in his first week in the big leagues and even won Player Of The Week.
This morning, Dodgers scout Logan White, one of the people who was most instrumental in the signing of Puig, joined ESPN’s Colin Cowherd to discuss the first time he saw Puig:
“I heard about him when we were looking at (Jorge) Soler and that Yasiel would become eligible to be seen and scouted. We went down to Mexico City in June of last year and were the only team that stayed to see him hit for three straight days”.
White has been instrumental in the Dodgers signing of Puig and Korean pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu as White said under the McCourt ownership they had no budget for signing international prospects.
The hardest part about justifying the signing was the fact that there was such little data on Puig prior to their visit to Mexico City. White recalls talking to president Stan Kasten about signing Puig and how he had a conversation at 2 am about the contract details:
“Kinda crazy. New ownership and everybody, they were very aggressive. They wanted us to get out there and get somebody and I wanted to get them the right guy. We had three days of bouncing things off each other and at 2 am I decided it was 7 years and $42 million and I was asked if I was asked if I was out of my mind”
Puig has dazzled everybody through just one week in the big leagues, but White knew he was special from the moment he watched him take batting practice.