Monday, April 07, 2014

Busted Thumb, Speeding Infractions, Tardy Arrivals: Mondesi-Like Behavior?

1994 ROY and former Dodger Raul Mondesi says that when he looks at Yasiel Puig, he sees himself (though I think Raul is considering the good behavior, I hope):

When former Dodgers outfielder Raul Mondesi watches Yasiel Puig, he is reminded of a player he knew well:


But, Mondesi added, “He’s bigger than me. He’s like 6-4, huh?”

Now the mayor of San Cristobal in the Dominican Republic, the 43-year-old Mondesi was back at Dodger Stadium on Sunday to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. He was also collecting used clothes for his hometown.

As Puig is today, Mondesi was a five-tool talent. The National League rookie of the year in 1994, Mondesi hit .273 with 271 home runs and 860 runs batted in over a 13-year career.

The cannon-armed Mondesi joked that he wanted Puig to catch his ceremonial first pitch, “So that I can show him how to throw the ball.”

Asked to compare Puig’s throwing arm to his, Mondesi laughed and said, “I haven’t played in 10 years, so I don’t remember what kind of arm I used to have.”

Mondesi said of the 23-year-old Puig, “He’s young. Strong like a bull. He’s going to be a great player.”

Mondesi, who expected to speak to Puig later in the day, said people had to be patient with Puig.

“He’s still young,” Mondesi said. “People make mistakes when they start playing that young.

“They have to let him develop without putting too much pressure on him. Little by little, he’ll get to where he has to get and he’ll help the team win a lot of games.”

I remember seeing Mondesi's rocket arm throwing runners out at first on singles to right field. And remembering how strong a frame Mondesi carried when he barreled around the bases. It's not a bad comparison, from that perspective. If Puig can put up seven years of 122 OPS+ performance (Puig's currently at 156 OPS+, which is a great start), that would be awesome. And drive a bit slower, of course.


QuadSevens said...

With Puig being so young, I wonder if he even knows who Mondesi is. Mondesi was a very exciting player to watch so I'd love for Puig to be as good as him for a long time to come.