CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

Futures Guide 2014 is Now Available in Paperback and Three E-book Formats.

Premium and Super Premium Subscribers Get a 20% Discount at MLB.tv!

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Monday Morning Ten Pac... (06/03)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article The Call-Up: Michael W... (05/30)
Next Column >>
Premium Article The Call-Up: Scooter G... (06/04)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article The Stash List: The My... (06/04)

June 3, 2013

The Call-Up

Yasiel Puig

by Jason Parks and Bret Sayre


The Situation: With an outfield on the injury shelf, the Dodgers called up their finest minor league treasure in Yasiel Puig. After a monstrous spring training during which the Cuban defector stomped all over the Cactus League landscape destroying buildings and exhaling fire and fury, it was only a matter of time and opportunity before he arrived on the major league scene.

Background: The 22-year-old Cuban has quite the attractive narrative, with escape attempts and house arrest preceding his first-world fame. It’s a romantic story—one that deserves to be told in more depth—but the genesis of his tale as it relates to his career in the majors was the outrageous contract he received from the Dodgers after establishing post-defection residency in Mexico. A complete unknown to most fans, Puig was given a lucrative financial package, complete with a $12M signing bonus as the bow on a seven-year, $42M deal. Based on the scarcity of scouting intel available at the time, the signing seemed irresponsible and casual, even considering the deep pockets of the new Los Angeles ownership. Most reactions fell along the lines of, “The Dodgers gave $42M to a Cuban player based on an impressive batting practice session? What am I missing?”

The Scouting Report: The Bo Jackson comps are unfair and sensational, but the physical gifts imparted by Puig’s robust physical frame allow for such hyperbole. Puig is an athletic beast, with inside linebacker size and wide receiver speed. In spring training, Jason Cole clocked the 250-pound outfielder at 4.04 home-to-first from the right side of the plate, which is plus-plus territory for those scoring at home. Humans Puig’s size aren’t supposed to run sub-4.1 times from the right side. It throws off the balance of the world.

In addition to his thick, muscular frame, Puig has legit baseball tools and some feel for his craft. Despite an upper body that suggests he bench-presses small automobiles, Puig has a fluid swing at the plate that is conducive to both contact and power, a rare combination indeed. He has a vigorous appetite for fastballs and will look to drive the ball with authority early in counts, showing a short path to the ball and ideal length at the point of extension. With good lift and leverage built into the swing, Puig has over-the-fence power, and some scouts haven’t been shy about putting an elite grade on his raw pop.

Puig could be a monster offensive force, but the major league book on him has yet to be written, and high-end arms may find ways to exploit him. As the fastballs over the plate turn into exploding secondary stuff wearing a convincing disguise, can Puig adjust? The raw bat-to-ball ability is there, but you can’t simulate the quality of talent found in the majors at the minor league level, so the report on Puig is still abstract.

With easy plus speed and major league quality coordination, Puig can handle the demands of center field, although his reads and routes still need refinement. The arm will play in either corner and can be a weapon once he learns to harness his strength and improve his carry and accuracy. The glory will come from the offensive attack, as the potential cocktail could reach lethal levels intoxication; contact, power, and speed all coming from an intimidating physical package and presence. If he hits his mark—which isn’t a given, as there are still many unknowns about his game—Puig could be an all-star at the major league level, a middle-of-the-order monster with a cathedral ceiling. —Jason Parks

The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.

Not a subscriber?

Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.


Cancel anytime.


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

Related Content:  Prospects,  Dodgers,  Yasiel Puig,  Call Up

7 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Monday Morning Ten Pac... (06/03)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article The Call-Up: Michael W... (05/30)
Next Column >>
Premium Article The Call-Up: Scooter G... (06/04)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article The Stash List: The My... (06/04)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: The Benefits of Early-Sea...
Fantasy Article Deep Impact: Week Three
Premium Article Minor League Update: Games of Tuesday, April...
Moonshot: What PITCHf/x Can Tell Us About Ba...
Painting the Black: Some Things Brewing
Premium Article What You Need to Know: Historic Tuesday
The Lineup Card: 10 of Our Favorite Pitches

MORE FROM JUNE 3, 2013
Premium Article What You Need to Know: Powering Up in Philly
Premium Article Scouting the Draft: Pitchers to Know (Part 1...
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit List: Monday, June 3
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Bonder the Next One
The Week In Quotes: May 27-June 2
Premium Article Daily Roundup: Around the League: June 3, 20...
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Is Dumping Early a Good P...

MORE BY JASON PARKS
2013-06-07 - Fantasy Beat: Weekly #streameroftheday Updat...
2013-06-06 - BP Unfiltered: Buxton-ing (a Poem)
2013-06-04 - Premium Article Prospects Will Break Your Heart: Poll the In...
2013-06-03 - Premium Article The Call-Up: Yasiel Puig
2013-05-28 - Fringe Average Podcast: Fringe Average: Epis...
2013-05-21 - Fringe Average Podcast: Fringe Average: Epis...
2013-05-20 - Premium Article Monday Morning Ten Pack: May 20
More...

MORE THE CALL-UP
2013-06-12 - Premium Article The Call-Up: Mike Zunino
2013-06-11 - Premium Article The Call-Up: Gerrit Cole
2013-06-04 - Premium Article The Call-Up: Scooter Gennett
2013-06-03 - Premium Article The Call-Up: Yasiel Puig
2013-05-30 - Premium Article The Call-Up: Michael Wacha
2013-05-30 - Premium Article The Call-Up: Alex Colome
2013-05-30 - Premium Article The Call-Up: Alex Wood
More...

INCOMING ARTICLE LINKS
2013-06-11 - Premium Article The Call-Up: Gerrit Cole