It seems that the harder that some folks try to find fault in Yasiel Puig’s youth and “rawness,” the more he continues to prove them wrong – almost daily
In Tuesday’s game against the Oakland A’s, it was “The Yasiel Puig Show – Part Three” (or was it four or five?), yet in spite of the unbelievable things that this 22-year-old phenom is accomplishing, Ned Colletti and Don Mattingly continue to dismiss Puig’s incredible success this spring as an aberration.
“We’ve all seen it. Opening Day (arrives), and everything’s different,” said Colletti of Puig after yet another incredible 4 for 4 performance against the AL West defending champs. “It’s faster. It’s real. It’s the big leagues. You can’t replicate that here.”
Mattingly also seems to keep a blind eye towards Puig.
“At this point he’s creating expectations he can’t live up to. Nobody can,” Mattingly said.
Call me naïve, but it seems to me that Puig has not only lived up to every expectation, but exceeds them on a daily bases.
In contrast to Colletti and Mattingly, I have believed in this kid’s capabilities from the moment the Dodgers signed him and it hasn’t waned even slightly. And to those who, for whatever their reasons, continue to say that nobody is that good, I say yes, there are some who actual are that good (albeit very few) – guys like Ken Griffey Jr., Mike Trout and Bryce Harper. Deny it if you choose but Yasiel Puig is that good.
No one will dispute that Puig still has a lot to learn about the game, especially with his base running and reading the ball a little better when deciding to take an extra base, but these are things that can be worked on at the MLB level and certainly are not reasons to keep him from playing at baseball’s highest level. I seem to recall another young Dodger with similar issues, a kid named Matthew Ryan Kemp.
Puig will also have to curtail his now infamous bat flip somewhat as well, even though this is something he has done it throughout his entire baseball career in Cuba. I imagine that at some point a pitcher(s) may take offense to it, which may get him or one of his teammates plunked. But here again, is this something that he can’t be taught on the major league level? I actually believe that it is one of those things that can only be learned at the major league level.
Colletti and Mattingly may not believe in you, Yasiel, but I most certain do. Keep proving them wrong, kid. One of these days they’ll get it.
* * * * * * * *
Kudos to Chris Capuano, who pitched brilliantly on Tuesday. In 5.2 innings, Cap allowed only one run (on a home run by Puig’s countryman Yoenis Céspedes), 5 hits, with one walk and 4 strikeouts. It was by far Capuano’s best outing of the spring and increased his chances significantly to become the Dodgers’ spot starter and/or long reliever.