Since joining the Los Angeles Dodgers in June of last season, Yasiel Puig has been no stranger to highlight reels. The right fielder ended his first game with a catch at the warning track in Dodger Stadium and a laser to first base for a double play.
Puig’s diving catch against the New York Mets on May 22 was quickly hailed as the play of the year, but Oakland Athletics left fielder and fellow Cuban, Yoenis Cespedes has thrown his name into the discussion with this throw against the Los Angeles Angels:
When asked about the throw prior to the Dodgers’ game with the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday, Puig complimented Cespedes, but wouldn’t answer when asked to compare arm strength, via Bill Shaikin of the LA Times:
Puig on Cespedes' throw in Anaheim: "Tremendous. One of the best throws of the season." Who's got the better arm? Puig smiles, won't say.
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) June 11, 2014
Puig’s arm strength in right field has prevented runners from going first to third on the Dodgers on several occasions, but it was also a point of contention last season as Puig would often disregard the cutoff man.
This season, Puig has improved on his defensive play and manager Don Mattingly has referred to him as the best right fielder in the game. Along with improving out on the field, Puig has also made considerable strides at the plate.
Entering Thursday, Puig leads the Dodgers in batting average (.329), hits (75), RBIs (40) and is second in OPS (.997).