Signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers as an amateur free agent in 2012, Puig first became a target of fantasy baseball owners this Spring Training when he did nothing but tear the cover off the ball seemingly every game.
Owners were disappointed when he was sent to the minors to start the season, but after just two months a struggling, injury-plagued Dodgers lineup called upon the Cuban phenom, and fantasy owners who sprinted to the waiver wires to grab him have not regretted it for a second.
In just five games, Puig is 8-for-19 with an astonishing four home runs and 10 RBI. Five of his eight hits have gone for extra bases and the majority have come in clutch situations; quickly making him a fan favorite in Los Angeles. While he’s not going to continue this ridiculous pace, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he has had this kind of success.
During the spring, Puig was 30-for-58 (.517) with three home runs, 11 RBI and four stolen bases with a 1.328 OPS. This year in Triple-A he didn’t miss a beat with a .982 OPS, .313 average, eight home runs and 13 stolen bases.
There’s the big question of what the Dodgers do with Puig when Matt Kemp and Carl Crawford are healthy, but with a 27-33 record sitting in fifth place in the National League West entering Saturday’s game, manager Don Mattingly will have no choice but to keep him in the lineup as long as he continues to hit. Owners should simply sit back and enjoy his production. He’s a long way from becoming this year’s Mike Trout, but if anyone can mirror Trout’s production from his rookie year, it’s Puig.