Ever since Yasiel Puig’s strong emergence in the summer of 2013, the young man out of Cuba has shown the baseball world exactly how much he loves the game of baseball. Puig plays with a ton of energy and has plenty of fun while doing so.
Love it or hate it, this type of “fun” baseball is here to stay. Other players around the league such as Javy Báez, Jesús Aguilar, and older guys like Adrian Beltre and Manny Ramirez embody that sense of fun baseball. I love the energy and passion these guys play with. It really makes you appreciate the game that much more.
Throughout his short time in the majors, Puig has been known to struggle when behind in the count. When a right-hander is on the mound, the pitcher tends to throw a breaking ball low and away, knowing Puig will chase.
As the chart below displays, the difference between the 0-2 count compared to either a 1-2 or 2-2 count is interesting. He actually struck out less when down no balls and two strikes.
What else stood out the most was Puig’s BABIP, which was .471, when in the hole 0-2. Puig is very aggressive when his back is against the wall, knowing the man on the mound won’t give him much of anything to hit in that count.
With all of that strikeout information in mind, Puig stepped to the plate nearly 100 times less than last season. His strikeouts dropped from 100 in 2017, to 87 in 2018. I noticed a much more patient and disciplined Puig at the plate. He was able to draw 22 walks in 202 at-bats with an 0-2 count.
With Puig’s close companion and hitting coach Turner Ward taking the job with the Reds, a big piece of Puig will be missing in the 2019 season. Puig and Ward were very close to each other. Turner Ward played a big part in Puig’s success at the plate this season.
Puig’s slash line for 2018 is .267/.327/494. All numbers were similar to last season’s for the most part. Personally, I can live with an OPS of .820 along with a .267 BA. Anywhere around the .270 range for batting average is a successful season in my eyes. As we’ve all seen, Puig offers so much more than just his bat.
Yasiel owned a .925 OPS back in 2013 during his debut season with the Dodgers. Surpassing those rookie numbers may be unlikely, but if he can match his 2018 numbers, he will help the Dodgers.
Yasiel “Wild Horse” Puig has one of the most dangerous and exciting outfield arms in all of baseball. Run on Puig at your own risk.
Don’t worry, I have proof:
OK, Yasiel Puig, we get it. You have a cannon. https://t.co/Lvfpjmqx84
Who is the ACTIVE leader in outfield assists? He has 141. #NGonMLB
— MLB (@MLB) June 6, 2016
In 2017, Yasiel Puig appeared in 145 games and recorded only one error. This season, Puig played in just 118 games in the outfield — all in right field — and recorded eight errors. We almost never see Yasiel Puig make errors out there in right field, even when he is catching the ball almost effortlessly. We’ve all seen it, as Puig nonchalantly glides over to make the catch at the hip. He’s done it so many times I trust him to make that catch 100% of the time.
In years past, Yasiel Puig has been known to miss his cut-off man and fire a missile straight to the desired bag. Sometimes it pays off, but it’s also a big risk, knowing that a runner on base can advance on Puig’s mistake. Puig‘s 18 defensive runs saved above average (DRS) in 2017 was a career high for him. That number fell significantly this season, still sitting at solid 6 DRS this 2018 season. Puig’s most dangerous tool in his belt is without a doubt his throwing arm.
|6 Se||6 Se||6 Se||547||286||52.3%||244||17||3.1%||24||20785||63%||65%||35%||1997||53%|
The table above displays Puig’s 2018 advanced stats in RF. Yasiel Puig’s hold percentage was 53.5% and is significantly higher than the MLB average of 46.9%. The hold percentage is “the percentage of plays from five previous situations where player did not advance”.
All baserunners are aware of Puig’s arm strength and ability to throw.
Yasiel Puig registered 2.7 Wins Above Replacement in 2018, much lower than MLB leaders. Mookie Betts led all of baseball in 2018 with a 10.9 WAR, followed by Mike Trout at 10.2. Puig’s WAR dropped from 3.7 in 2017 to 2.7 in 2018, after injuries reducing him from 152 games, to 125.
Puig’s consistency in right field has played quite the impact on the Dodgers success over the years. There has been a revolving door in both left and center field in the last few years. Guys like Taylor, Hernandez, Bellinger, Joc and others have all swapped in and out of the left/center field roles.
We’ve all heard Puig’s name being thrown around as possible trade bait, including the most recent news that Puig was offered to D.C. for Bryce Harper. As a fan, I hope Puig is given the opportunity to stick around in this organization. He has cemented himself as an every day guy in right field, hoping to bring a World Championship back to Los Angeles.