Arguably the most exciting name to surface in spring training has been Los Angeles Dodgers prospect Yasiel Puig. To the delight of the Dodgers organization, Puig has hit .526 with two triples, three home runs and four stolen bases over 57 at-bats. Los Angeles committed seven years and $42 million to the Cuban defector last season and it seems to be paying dividends already. After entering the spring with an outside chance of making the opening day roster, the 23-year-old Puig may have hit his way into the lineup. Fantasy baseball owners should familiarize themselves with Puig, who could be the next big rookie to emerge in professional baseball.
Puig can certainly swing a bat but his skill set is far more extensive than that. He is the definition of a five-tool player and appears to already have refined skills in all five aspects. Baseball America rated Puig as the 47th best prospect but his first 87 minor league at-bats and 57 spring training at-bats pose the argument that he might belong at the top of that list.
Los Angeles did not anticipate Puig to arrive in the majors until late 2013 but he has played his way into the lineup. The way it’s turned out, Puig will surpass Skip Shumaker and Jerry Hairston Jr. as the third starting outfielder. If Puig can perform up to the expectations that he’s generated then the Dodgers could be even better than projected. Puig should be drafted or added to all fantasy rosters before it’s too late.