It seems that many people around the league are beginning to change their tune on Yasiel Puig. There is no better evidence of this than Giants’ broadcaster Mike Krukow saying that he’d love for Puig to be a Giant.
Reported by Jake Montero of knbr.com, here’s the full quote from Krukow.
“I’d have said I don’t want him to come near the Giants organization,” Krukow said referring to his previous feelings about Puig. “But I think now I’d love to have him in the organization because of what we saw last year, and I think a lot of teams say the same thing about the guy.”
Despite Puig’s growth, it’s still surprising to see anyone within the Giants organization commend him. The Right Fielder has never made any friends while facing San Francisco, and many may even say he made an enemy of Giants’ ace Madison Bumgarner. Krukow was always vocal about Puig’s immaturity and lack of growth on the field. That makes his recent comments that much more surprising, although they are well deserved.
After a tumultuous 2016 that even saw him sent to the minor leagues, Puig broke out in a big way in 2017. The 26-year old hit .263/.346/.487 with career highs of 28 home runs and 15 stolen bases. Puig also had the highest walk rate of his career at 11.2%, as well as the lowest strikeout rate at 17.5%. Yasiel was also a finalist for the Gold Glove and was the recipient of the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award for right fielders. Puig was a force on both sides this season.
Yasiel had a very hot start the the postseason, going 5 for 11 with a double and triple in the NLDS. He followed it up with another good performance against the Cubs in the NLCS, going 7 for 18 with a home run and a double. The World Series wasn’t quite the same level of success. While he did hit two home runs in the series, he made very little noise otherwise, going 4 for 27.
As Puig continues to grow both on and off the field, you can expect to see more people like Krukow. While some people will always be rubbed the wrong way by his style of play, many people who didn’t before are already starting to like him. Baseball moving in the direction of embracing players with flair will help as well.
What do you think of Krukow’s statement? Let us know in the comments!
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