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Dodgers latest prospect makes impressive debut

The Los Angeles Dodgers have not had a lot to smile about over the first two months of the season. The Dodgers are in dead last in the National League West 7 ½ games behind the first place Arizona Diamondbacks.

Nevertheless, manager Don Mattingly had a smile on his face following Monday’s game when Yasiel Puig made his major league debut for Los Angeles.

What impact Puig makes on the Dodgers’ season will not be known for months, but his impact on the mood of his teammates was obvious from the first time he stepped into the batter’s box on Monday.

In his debut, Puig was 2 for 4 and made the defensive play that ended the game for Los Angeles to preserve a 2-1 victory over San Diego.

The Dodgers now have a reason to have a smile on their faces and to take notice in a season that has already become boring after just 50 games.

Puig’s debut included his first two hits in the majors and a long throw from the outfield warning track to double Chris Denorfia off first base to end the game.

Mattingly said you could feel the energy Puig brought to the field’, as the crowd even was excited when Puig grounded out to third base.

Puig was like a deer in headlights when he entered the media room and saw nearly 50 members of the media waiting to hear him before his big game. All he could manage through his interpreter was he thinks he can help the team win games.

Puig however is not the perfect person. He has had trouble at times keeping his emotions under control on the field and has found trouble sometimes off the field.

It might not be a coincidence that Puig’s locker has been placed in one corner with Adrian Gonzalez’s right next to it. Gonzalez just happens to be the team’s leading RBI man and one of the game’s quietest stars.

Prior to the game, Gonzalez said he would not being telling Puig to do this or that, but he said while Puig plays his game, he would let him know when he does things he cannot do.

How long he stays in the majors his first trip up is still unknown, but Puig at 22 is considered a project. He was signed to a 7 year deal worth $42 million after defecting from Cuba. The Dodgers signed him without ever seeing the outfielder play in person.

His debut on Monday was a joyous occasion for everyone, except the San Diego Padres, but at times there will be mistakes for sure.

At this point, anything that puts a smile on the face of Dodgers fans and keeps them coming to the ball park is what the new ownership wants and what Mattingly needs almost as much as he needs wins.

In less than two seasons in the minors Puig has played in 63 games in Class A and AA. He has a batting average of .323 with 13 home runs and 52 RBIs. If he can play that way at the top level, the Dodgers will be in a much better position for the future.


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