Edited by: Tommy Parrill (@DearTommy)
When you think of Cuban baseball players, the two most popular names would have to be Yoenis Cespedes of the Oakland Athletics and Aroldis Chapman of the Cincinnati Reds. As successful as those two young talents have been, there may be another Cuban who is not too far behind. This young man goes by the name of Yasiel Puig, he plays for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and he made his major league debut this past Monday.
While driving home from South Carolina this past Sunday, I received a tweet from a close friend of mine asking for my opinion on the 22-year-old Cuban. Since I am not a die-hard Dodgers fan and he hadn’t made his debut just yet, I really didn’t know what to think. In his second major league contest, Puig hit two homeruns and ended with a total of five RBI’s and followed it two days later with a Grand Slam homerun. In the last six days, Yasiel Puig has a batting average of .409 with a total of 10 RBI’s and four homeruns. It is safe to say that I now have an opinion on Yasiel Puig.
Not many rookies have a debut week like the one that Puig is having. I did find out earlier today from our own Matt Shock that Starlin Castro of the Chicago Cubs had six RBI’s in his major league debut, but that might be the closest comparison to what Puig has been able to show us this week. Most newcomers take months or even whole seasons to get a feel for the big leagues. But so far, not Puig.
At 6’3” and 215 pounds, Yasiel has the deadly combination of size, speed, strength and power. He seems to have amazing baseball knowledge and decent plate discipline. The scariest thing, is that he will continue to get better as he gains experience. I am not saying that Puig will continue to set the world on fire all season, or for his entire career, but for a young guy with a lot of potential that seems to be a favorite in the clubhouse already, the sky seems to be the limit for this colossal Cuban.
I love to see the new kid on the block being successful, because when it comes down to it, they are the future of the game. Baseball may be struggling to get fans out to the ballpark, but if young superstars like Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, Stephen Strasburg, Yasiel Puig and Matt Harvey continue to take the MLB by storm, then I feel pretty comfortable about the future of baseball. Chances are that Yasiel Puig will eventually come back down to earth, but no matter what, it is looking like the Los Angeles Dodgers have found the future face of their franchise.