Since his promotion to the big leagues in June of 2013, Puig has also become a polarizing figure because of his talent and style of play. The 24-year-old was able to tamper some of those critics last season, as he began to learn to play under a bit more control. One aspect that he has yet to master is running the bases, despite being one of the fastest in terms of raw speed.
According to Dan Szymborski of ESPN Insider, Puig is the worst baserunner when factoring in speed:
Overall, Puig wasn’t ranked in the bottom 10 among worst baserunners because the original list was cluttered with slow-footed players. However, once individual speed was used as a metric, then the All-Star outfielder became the worst. Puig was caught on the bases 15 times last season, was picked off three times and was caught stealing seven times in 18 attempts. His struggles with stealing bases comes from reading the pitcher and getting good jumps. Once he can learn the nuances of stealing bases, it’s safe to say that he could average at least 30 stolen bases a season.
Of course, Puig’s speed and aggressiveness helps too. Several times in his career, he has stretched a single into a double, taken the extra base and created his fair share of runs due to his speed. Puig must find a happy medium when running the bases in order to use it as a complement rather than a detriment. With Dee Gordon gone to Miami, Puig now becomes the fastest on the roster. Others like Jimmy Rollins, Howie Kendrick and Carl Crawford can also steal bases and use speed to their advantage.