The Dodgers didn’t get off to the greatest start this season as Matt Kemp, Zack Greinke and Hanley Ramirez all missed significant portions of the season.
While their play on the field suffered and they were in the basement of the NL West for most of the first half, the Dodgers got the spark they so desperately needed in outfielder Yasiel Puig.
Puig was hyped throughout spring training and deservedly so after he impressed many with his power, arm and speed throughout his time in Arizona. However, nobody could’ve predicted the incredible passion and performance he’s given the Dodgers and for the month of June, he received two accolades according to the Dodgers Twitter account:
Yasiel Puig has been voted the National League Rookie of the Month AND the National League Player of the Month for June 2013.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) July 3, 2013
There’s no argument for the contrary as Puig dazzled in his first game with the game winning catch and throw against the Padres and finished June by hitting a scalding .436 with seven home runs and 16 RBIs and he’s helped the Dodgers move to only 2.5 games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The debate now wages on as to whether or not he deserves to be selected to the All-Star game, but it’s hard to imagine that he won’t find his way on the National League team.
Most importantly, the Dodgers are feeding off his energy and excitement as the team seems looser and more confident on the field, which has translated into wins.
With what he’s shown in just his first month in the big leagues, this won’t be Puig’s last NL Player of the Month Award and Dodger fans can’t wait to see what he has in store next.
Here is the official Press Release:
Major League Baseball announced today that Dodger rookie outfielder Yasiel Puig has been voted the Budweiser Presents National League Player of the Month for June as well as the National League Rookie of the Month. This is just the fifth time since the Rookie of the Month Award was introduced in 2001 that a Player or Pitcher of the Month Award winner has garnered Rookie honors in the same calendar month. Puig joins Dontrelle Willis (FLA, June 2003), Ryan Braun (MIL, July 2007), Jeremy Hellickson (TB, May 2011) and Mike Trout (LAA, July 2012) as the only players to accomplish the feat. Puig is the first to win a Player of the Month Award in his first month in the big leagues since the award was instituted in 1958.