Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig always seems to be under a brighter spotlight than everyone else, where every single move he makes is highly scrutinized regardless of how his actions or performance may be compared to teammates.
With a .174 batting average over 23 at-bats, there could be a slight cause for concern regarding Puig’s performance, but last spring he finished batting .167 and ended the regular season just below .300. It seems as if Spring Training is just a time for Puig to work on different aspects of his swing without suffering any major consequences.
When asked if he was concerned about Puig’s performance thus far, manger Don Mattingly seemed mostly unphased, via Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times:
Not really. His spring was a little rough last year. I’m not really concerned about his average or anything like that. He looks fine. He’s hit some balls decent.”
Apparently, Puig does not seem too worried about his numbers this Spring either according to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:
#Dodgers Yasiel Puig on his .174 avg and importance of spring stats: “I’m on the team now. 2 years ago, I hit .500 and they sent me down.”
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) March 19, 2015
Considering the Dodgers haven’t had any issues yet this spring, it’s safe to assume that there are no concerns with Puig. Mattingly has said that the eccentric outfielder has been great and is expecting him to do fine this season. The 24-year-old was recently named one of the ten early favorites for the 2015 NL MVP Award in terms of odds.
Despite what his numbers may say, Puig has every reason to be hopeful for a successful third season in the Majors.
Dodgers 2015 Spring Training – Austin Barnes