Yasiel Puig has made plenty of headlines since he joined the Los Angeles Dodgers last June for his strong play, miscues on the field and vibrant personality.
He was recently named the second-most overrated player in the big leagues by a group of fellow major leaguers. Puig was behind another young, eccentric outfielder in that vote: Washington Nationals’ outfielder Bryce Harper. He is a 21-year-old hard-nosed outfielder that has also been criticized for his play.
According to Ted Berg of USA Today Sports, the two are connected in another way besides being thought of as overrated:
I asked Bryce Harper his favorite player to watch. He smiled: "I love Yasiel Puig."
— Ted Berg (@OGTedBerg) April 1, 2014
Harper naming Puig as his favorite isn’t much of a surprise, considering their similarities in play. Both are strong-armed outfielders that play hard, swing hard and run hard. They each try to take the extra base, while taking away the extra base. Also, Harper won the Rookie of the Year award in 2012, while Puig was the runner up last season. The duo are similar in style, but from completely different backgrounds. Harper graduated high school a year early in order to enroll in junior college and enter the MLB draft a year earlier, while Puig left his country of Cuba, established residency in Mexico and was signed to a seven-year deal by the Dodgers in 2012.
Last season, Harper was injured at Dodger Stadium after crashing into the right field wall in pursuit of a fly ball. Puig had his fair share of run ins with outfield walls last season and may be one of the reasons that Harper is a fan. If the two can remain healthy, we may see them together in the All-Star game representing the National League. Until then, Harper will have to admire Puig’s play from afar.
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