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Yasiel Puig’s Progression Is Taking His Game To New Heights

Apr 15, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig rounds the bases on a 3 run home run in the eighth inning of the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium. Dodgers won 8-4. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

What a difference a year makes.

Yasiel Puig was in the Dodgers organization’s doghouse at this point in time last year. Consequential questions concerning his demeanor, attitude and inconsistent play fueled tension towards the 26 year old phenom throughout the year.

When Puig arrived in 2013, he single-handedly turned the Dodgers season around for Don Mattingly’s ball club. He produced at a tremendously high rate, and many began to comare him to former legend Bo Jackson at times because of his stellar highlights created in right field.

Things began to get shaky as time went by, and he ended up in a tough situation during 2016. The Dodgers ultimately presented an ultimatum after enough was enough. He was sent down to Triple-A and returned back to the clubhouse, only to compete for playing time with Josh Reddick.

The past cannot be forgetten, but it’s clear that he has earned his teams trust back after a miraculous effort to reshape his approach to the game. His favorite player is Derek Jeter, and he certainly took drastic steps throughout the offseason in order to emulate his idol’s standards on the baseball field.

It’s amazing, really. His batting average is nearly identical to what it was last season; but 2017 has portrayed a different story. Take a look at his current overall statistics:

HR   26 2nd (behind Bellinger)
RBI 69 3rd (behind Bellinger & Seager)
Walks 61 (2nd behind Taylor)
Slugging (Min. 100 at-bats)  .491 (3rd behind Forsythe & Seager)
Stolen Bases 14 (5th overall)

Yasiel Puig has been on a roll the last seven days (.435 avg, 10 hits, 2 home runs and 4 doubles), and he’ll definitely be a major factor this postseason. His continued success is more crucial than ever moving forward since he has been moved up in the lineup to 5th, right behind Cody Bellinger. Teams have no reason to pitch to Bellinger if there isn’t a threat behind him. We saw this in San Francisco when Bochy had Bellinger intentionally walked three times in one game.

Puig is approaching the game with a mature mindset, and it’s paying impressive dividends. The defense will always be there due to his elite athleticism, and his batting stance resembles the one from 2013 that tore up the MLB. Hopefully his success continues well into October!

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Written by Staff Writer

5 Comments

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    • So proud of Puig, always fun to watch, and now he’s got his game and approach together, he’s had a really good season. One of the most gifted right fielders I’ve ever watched.

      One thing on the article though….. errr…. forsythe isn’t team leader in slugging percentage… LOL

  1. I don’t know if Puig has peripheral vision issues but I think his batting avg would be 40 points higher and HR production might be 50+ annually if he did one thing more: stand 1 to 2 inches closer to the plate. That way if he’s going to swing at balls on the outside of the plate, he’ll have a better chance of making contact with the meat of the bat instead of the end of the bat as he did with the HR yesterday in DC. Problem is he swings at too many balls outside the strike zone, so he might as well be closer to the ball

  2. Well, you’ve got the slugging incorrect. The order is:
    Bellinger .611
    Turner .536
    Taylor .501
    Seager .489.
    Puig .487

    Forsythe is way down the list at .322

  3. Yasiel a 5 tool player and my favorite has turn the corner. Turner Ward a major factor for the young star not swinging at bad pitches out of the zone. Yasiel a huge Gold glove favorite ,is just a step away from being one of the best players in baseball. Hes stealing bases , power numbers way up hitting for average 300 the last 2 months hes doing it all. Look out Mike trout the other guy with the better arm is coming to take your place as the best ALL AROUND IN THE GAME!

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