Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig has had his fair share of memorable highlights in the outfield, but many take these web gems with a grain of salt considering Puig’s defensive, and not to mention base running, blunders as well.
Puig has already made improvements from his first year in the Majors to his second, and the Dodgers are hopeful that his errors will continue to decrease as he matures. Although Puig showed promise as a center fielder with his speed, athleticism and cannon of an arm, he’ll return to right field in 2015.
Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi recently took the reigns on the team’s Twitter account and spoke highly of Puig’s prospects as a right fielder:
.@TRezzoJr our metrics have him well above average in RF which we feel is his best position. Potential Gold Glover there.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) February 6, 2015
Zaidi’s opinion comes after Puig spoke at Los Angeles City Hall and voiced his desire to win a Gold Glove award. With the outfielder dilemmas that plagued the Dodgers through much of 2014, Puig was a huge contributor in alleviating the issue when he transitioned from right field over to center field
Puig finished the year with 89 starts in right and 52 in center. It should be noted that he committed just one error in right field and two in center last season. However, in terms of advanced stats, Puig was worth two defensive runs saved in center and zero as a right fielder, according to Baseball-Reference.
Additionally, according to FanGraphs, Puig had a -2.5 ultimate zone rating in center compared to 0.2 in right field. With Joc Pederson closer than ever to earning the starting position in center field, Puig transitions back to right field where his strong arm will be put to good use. The question of course remains as to whether or not he will continue to outplay the metrics that graded him low.
Dodgers 2015 FanFest