Entering his first full season with the Los Angeles Dodgers, outfielder Yasiel Puig is garnering a lot of attention early in Spring Training. The 23-year-old is dealing with right shoulder inflammation and is on a limited throwing program while having to field questions about adjustments he plans on making prior to the season starting.
Another person who’s exciting Dodger fans this spring is legend Sandy Koufax. For the second year in a row, the 78-year-old Hall of Famer is back in Dodgers camp as a special advisor to chairman Mark Walter. Asked about Puig and his showmanship from last season, Koufax had this to say according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times:
If the showmanship doesn’t involve bad decisions, yeah, it’s fine, Koufax said. People love it. But Koufax also said he would like to see the 23-year-old outfielder learn the finer points of the game. You have a great arm, you want to show it off, but I’d like to see him throw it to the right place all the time, Koufax said. He’s young. The biggest thing is he’s not played against competition as good as he is. So you’re always able to have your physical ability make up for whatever else you do. He’s learning. I’m sure it’s going to happen. He has too much talent.
Puig’s showmanship came under fire a lot last season as his bat flips and show of emotion rubbed people the wrong way. While he finished second in the Rookie of the Year voting, there were several times where Puig would overthrow the cutoff man, allowing the runner to take an extra base or be too aggressive on the base paths and run into outs.
When asked earlier in camp what he’s working on, the young outfielder said he’s focusing on hitting and the ares that are uncomfortable for him. Puig will once again be in the spotlight for his antics on the field, but it’s clear that the organization is fine with his show of emotion so long as he improves on the fundamentals.
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