Then Dodgers had their run of injuries early in the season and utility players like Jerry Hairston Jr., Scott Van Slyke and Skip Schumaker found themselves starting a lot more than they could’ve anticipated.
However, Nick Punto has stood out from the rest of the pack as he’s found himself playing second, short and third base as players tried to fight their way back from injury.
The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association voted Punto the Dodgers Heart and Hustle award winner:
— MLBPAA (@MLBPAA) July 18, 2013
Known for his head-first slides into first base or ripping off a players jersey after a walk-off hit, Punto has helped the Dodgers stay alive for the NL West crown.
While he’s cooled off after his hot start, Punto is still hitting .251 with 12 RBIs and 22 runs scored now that he’s settled into his utility role.
Championship teams need role players like Punto and his hustle in all facets of the game make him an incredibly valuable player to the Dodgers bench.