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Yasiel Puig: Baseball’s Best and at times Worst

You either love him or hate him, but there is no in between when it comes to Yasiel Puig, the star outfielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Puig has incredible athletic ability but that can be overshadowed due to crazy mistakes.

Do fans prefer watching a pro-player play baseball with the enthusiasm of a kid, undisciplined, or home run trots with not movements and a simply hand shake at the end?

It seems it is that way when it comes to second-year sensation Puig.

He is the most divisive and polarizing player in the game today. He can be at the same time frustrating and electrifying. He can make a play few others in the game have not or could not, but can back that up with one that is equally as bad.

Regardless of how fans feel about Puig, he is compelling and he might just be the last of his kind in our generation.

Puig is a talented yet raw player the size of a linebacker stalking right field, but with the skill and ability to one day be the best player in baseball.

On Thursday night, in the Big Apple, Puig added to his growing legend. He made a diving catch that will be on highlight reels for months; he made a flip of the bat to end all flips of the bat on a ball that only reached the base of the outfield wall; he was on second dashing for third on a line drive a got caught in a double play; and on an infield fly he either was not aware of the infield fly rule or was not paying attention.

Puig’s catch likely is what will be most remembered on the night and well it should be. The right fielder had to run a long distance for the fly ball and his is 245 pounds.

He was rewarded for making one of the best catches of the season with a standing ovation for the New York Mets fans, who know good baseball when they see it, they just do not see it that often.

However, for as good as that play was, he made the mistake on an infield fly and was doubled off second on a line drive.

Many have tried to compare Puig to former or current players but it is nearly impossible. Some come to mind such as Vladimir Guerrero when he first started or Rickey Henderson with those who loved him and those that did not.

However, making those comparisons would take away from what Puig really is – one of a kind. The young talent believes he can do anything on the field, which at times can cause him problems.

He makes too many gaffes on the bases, leading the majors in on base outs with nine, which does not include the times one is caught stealing or picked off.

However, Puig is batting .331 with 10 homers and has become a smart hitter at the plate.

Last season, in June he swung at 38% of pitches outside the strike zone and this season for the month of May he is swinging at just 22% of the pitches thrown to him outside the strike zone.

He is fun to watch and fun to criticize and without a doubt the game’s most compelling player.


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