Every year in sports there is a player that breaks out in the beginning of the season. Some of those players will turn into All-Stars for years to come and others will fade away and struggle to find a starting job. That is just how sports works. This year in the MLB, the Dodgers believe they have found the next big thing that will bring their struggling franchise back up to par with the rest of the league. Yasiel Puig has played less then half of the games played this season but in the games that Puig has played in he Dodgers are above .500 versus .418 without him. Not a huge difference but it is significant seeing the Dodgers have been struggling the last few months they need all the help they can get.
Yasiel Puig has only played 22 games and has already made a splash in the NL. He is hitting .422 has 7 long balls, .716 slugging percentage, 14 RBIs, and Billie Bean’s favorite stat, an OBP of .455. With his only at bat with bases loaded, he hit a grand-slam so he not only has great numbers but he brings an entertainment factor to the Dodgers that has already caused ESPN to rearrange scheduling to broadcast a Dodgers game.
Now fans want to see him in the All-Star Break. But here’s the argument, he has only played 22 games. He hasn’t played the whole 3 months like the rest of other well deserving out-fielders. So… should he play in the All-Star Game? I don’t think so. Sure he has awesome numbers and is a lot of fun to watch but he hasn’t really proven if he is worthy to play. Next year, if he has the same numbers after playing 3 months, there would be no doubt in my mind that he is the real thing but right now he hasn’t proved anything. Lets see where he is in a few months to see how well he holds up before anyone jumps to conclusions.
But this is just another example of how the MLB is a more level playing field than most pro sports. Sure there are teams like the Yankees that have all the house hold names like A-Rod and Derrick Jeter, but no matter if you have the Derrick Jeter or Yasiel Puig, there is someone for each team, that if they are used correctly, can change that team.
The Dodgers have found yet another one of those players in Puig and now that Matt Kemp is active and can contribute to their winning, maybe they can work their way out of last place in the NL West. It’s all a matter of time until we figure out what this LA team has.