Once trade bait, Yasiel Puig has been reborn.
Before spring training, Puig was already firing bullets: He said he wanted to start, be it in Los Angeles or somewhere else. He arrived a Camelback Ranch as a man on a mission, and he succeeded. He’s the Dodgers’ starting right fielder.
Puig hit .234 with three homers and seven RBI in 47 at-bats. He made a couple of splash defensive plays as well.
Dave Roberts said Puig is leaner and mentally in a much better place than a season ago.
“For Yasiel, it’s understanding to trust the process and continue to get better,” Roberts said. “… if he continues to trust the process and get better each day, I’ll bet on the results on the backend. But it’s a challenge that he has to continue to be consistent with his work.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) March 5, 2017
Two of Puig’s trio of homers came in one game. It was his ability to dazzle on a nightly basis that earned him his name recognition. Now he’s looking to re-discover that magic.
Should the Dodgers be bracing for a Puig renaissance? While it’s too early to say, his future with the organization is still murky. This season may be the determiner for how the rest of Puig’s career plays out.