Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Yasiel Puig Wins Over ESPN's Keith Law

Credit to ESPN's Keith Law, who posted today that Yasiel Puig was better than he had originally expected (link insider only):

Yasiel Puig, OF | Los Angeles Dodgers

When I saw Puig last summer, once in a workout and once in an Arizona League game (rookie ball), he was still sporting some excess weight around his midsection, running average to above average, showing hand strength, but not a lot of pitch recognition. By March of this year, he'd lost every ounce of that extra weight, went from being a 50-55 runner to a 70 runner (on the 20-80 scouting scale), and pitch recognition was immaterial because he could hit everything.

Where I missed here was his preternatural ability to hit -- the quiet approach and crazy hand strength translated immediately to hard contact, even with all the time off from facing live pitching. And while I don't think he's a .400 BABIP guy going forward, he has been a .296/.392/.497 hitter in the second half off a .358 BABIP, and that's a level I could see him holding into next season.

Law also commended Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt and Patrick Corbin. Oh, and former Dodger Shane Victorino. But at least Puig got some props!

Earlier: "Keith Law Doesn't Like The Lipstick On This Puig" (June 29, 2012)