Star Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puig earns Player of the Week honors

June 10, 2013

Los Angeles Dodgers electrifying rookie outfielder Yasiel Puig continues to make things look easy in the bigs, as he was named National League Player of the Week today following his spectacular debut.

In his first week in the Major Leagues, Puig led baseball with 27 total bases and was tied for the Major League lead with four home runs. Moreover, his .964 slugging percentage was second-best in the Majors and was the top mark among National Leaguers.

The 22-year-old native of Cienfuegos, Cuba, also ranked among league leaders with a .464 (13-for-28) batting average (2nd), 10 RBI (3rd), 13 hits (3rd), and a .483 on-base percentage (7th). Puig had multi-hit efforts in five of his seven games during the week.

Since being called up from the minors, Puig has provided the struggling Dodgers with a much needed jolt of energy, passion, and production.

Puig's debut on June 3rd started off with a bang, as he displayed 3 of his 5 tools by going 2-for-4 in the Dodgers leadoff slot and recording his first outfield assist in game-ending fashion, doubling-up San Diego’s Chris Denorfia at first with a throw from deep right field.

On Tuesday, Puig demonstrated yet another tool -- his ability to hit for power -- as he went 3-for-4 with a double, two blasts, and five RBI in his second game, a 9-7 win over the Padres.

According to Elias Sports Bureau, Puig joined Dino Restelli as the only players in Major League history to have recorded a two-homer, five-RBI game within the first two games of his career.

On Thursday, Puig intrigued again, going 2-for-4 with a grand slam in a 5-0 victory over Atlanta.

On Friday, Puig’s game-tying solo homer in the sixth inning was the only run the Dodgers scored off Braves starter Paul Maholm in an eventual 2-1 extra-inning victory for Los Angeles. With the homer, Puig became just the second player since 1900 to hit four home runs in his first five games, joining Mike Jacobs of the 2005 New York Mets, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

After a torrid spring in which he batted over .500, many questioned whether Puig was really big league-ready, or merely swinging a hot bat. Now we know the answer.

Given his reputation for immaturity, many thought Puig would be better served by developing in the minors, despite his freakish athleticism. Of course, the Dodgers had extra incentive to send him down there because they could prolong his free agency by one year if he was not on the roster Opening Day.

At some point this season, a real dilemma could arise when Matt Kemp and Carl Crawford get healthy and join a crowded Dodgers outfield. With Puig, Crawford, Kemp, and Andre Ethier all capable of putting up quality numbers, but only three outfield spots available, one of the quartet eventually will need to be dealt.

Kemp is coming off shoulder surgery and has struggled, but is a former MVP-candidate who presumably still has more upside than Crawford and Ethier.

Crawford has rebounded with a solid year thus far after his struggles with the Red Sox, but has a pricey contract that makes him difficult to deal. So does Ethier for that matter.

Other noteworthy performances last week included Carlos Beltran (.333, 2 HR, 8 RBI), Matt Carpenter (.455, 15 H, HR, 5 RBI, .526 OBP) and Matt Holliday (.407, 2 HR, 7 RBI, .778 SLG) of the St. Louis Cardinals; San Diego’s Kyle Blanks (.407, 11 H, 3 HR, 7 RBI, .852 SLG) and Everth Cabrera (.485, 16 H, 8 SB, .514 OBP); Atlanta’s Jason Heyward (.414, 12 H, HR, 5 R, .469 OBP) and Kris Medlen (2-0, 0.00 ERA, 12 SO, 13.2 IP, hit a home run on 6/8); and Colorado’s Troy Tulowitzki (.429, 12 H, 4 HR, 8 RBI, .929 SLG).

By Staff of The Daily Sports Herald and news services

No comments:

Post a Comment

We encourage all intelligent, passionate comments. Please refrain from any ignorant, racist, or offensive rants.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...