Having yet to play a full season in the big leagues, Los Angeles Dodgers’ right fielder Yasiel Puig already has a few full opinions from his fellow players.
Last season, Puig bursted onto the scene and hit over .400 in his first month en route to helping the Dodgers turn their season around. He finished the year hitting .319 with 19 home runs and 42 RBI, finishing second in the National League Rookie of the Year award.
According to a poll of 143 MLB players conducted by ESPN the Magazine, Puig finished second in a less-than-flattering category:
Harper is similar in style to Puig, being hard-nosed, high energy players that bring a borderline arrogance to the field. While Puig became a sensation last spring and continued once he reached the majors in June, Harper has had hype around him since high school. During Puig’s time in the big leagues, he’s caused some uneasiness around those that go up against him with his bat flips and eccentric personality. Puig went from a relatively unknown Cuban outfielder to a superstar that was seen all over ESPN and other media outlets. He was even on the cover of ESPN The Magazine for their Cuba issue.
An American League All-Star added some anonymous rationale for choosing the pair of outfielders for the question via ESPN The Magazine:
I like Bryce Harper. I think he’s going to be really good. But the attention for him — and for Puig, to a certain extent — is overkill. It’s just been hype so far.
Some players that have been around for a few years in the league may not appreciate when players are hyped too much before they’ve had sustained success in the big leagues. While they may not deny the talent, they could also be turned away by the flair, apparent cockiness and media attention.
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