When the Los Angeles Dodgers woke up on June 3, they were 23-32 and eight games back in the National League West. But then Yasiel Puig made his major league debut that night, and everything changed.
Since that time, the Dodgers have gone 15-11 and have cut the their deficit in the standings down to just four games. The Dodgers have won eight of their last nine games, and while it may seem overly simplistic to chalk up all of that up to the presence of Puig, it would be hard to overstate just how tremendous the rookie outfielder has played in his first month in the big leagues.
Puig went 4-for-5 against the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday, and was a home run away from hitting for the cycle. That pushed his hit total for the month of June up to 44, the most in any month by a Dodger rookie since the team moved to Los Angeles in 1958. The Cuban import is now second to only the legendary Joe DiMaggio for most hits in the first month of a career, a record set all the way back in 1936.
Things are finally starting to look up for the Dodgers after a brutal start to the season. The team is close to finally getting all of their players healthy at one time, and Puig has been better than even the most optimistic Dodger fan could have hoped. For Puig to continue his success, he may need to start being a little more patient at the plate. The fact that he has come to the plate 107 times and only has four walks is slightly concerning. As pitchers become more aware of Puig’s immense talent, he will have to adjust to seeing fewer pitches out over the plate.
Puig has already shown that he has more than enough talent to be successful as a major leaguer. The key now for the 22-year-old is learning how to consistently use that talent.