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October 3, 2013

Advance Scouting Series

Yasiel Puig

by Chris Rodriguez

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Advance Scouting Report

Filed by: Chris Rodriguez

Player Name: Yasiel Puig

Context: 10 Games; 9/11-14, 9/16-19, 9/21-22

PA

AB

H

1st P

K

BB

TB

Hard

AVE

OBP

SLG

OPS

TOTALS

45

38

9

17

8

6

20

12

.237

.356

.526

.882

Sample vs. Season:

Substantial difference in average to overall season; went on slump during span due to pitching adjustments; on-base is slightly down; slugging is a .020 difference due to the three home runs during the sample; could have been much lower.

SCOUTING BREAKDOWN

Physical/Health:

Built like a linebacker; visibly leaner than previous months; probably 6’1”, 230~; lost nothing but fat it seems; incredibly strong in his upper body; huge biceps and forearms; strong in his core and legs; extremely coordinated; elite athlete; dealt with knee and hip issues in early-mid Sept; hasn’t affected him at the plate much, if at all.

Hit Tool

Very good hitter; simple load; hands drift into hitting position; quiet in the box; long leg stride into the baseball at times; bat speed is exceptional; hip turn is excellent and rarely late; clears hips and allows hands and wrists to explode bat to the ball; can get caught out in front on off-speed offerings; plate coverage is excellent; handles outside pitches, especially pitches breaking away; laid off several late-breaking sliders; goes the other way often; can get tripped up on breaking balls away during a good sequence of pitches; raw bat-to-ball ability is very good; sees the ball very well; barrel stays in the hitting zone extraordinary long; exploding fastballs up in the zone are tough pitches for him to get to; arms and hands can get away from his body and it can be difficult for him to put the barrel on pitches inside; raw strength allows him to inside-out pitches; makes adjustments at-bat to at-bat; loves to attack the first pitch; recognized off-speed well except when he was sitting dead red on the first pitch; very aggressive hitter; plenty of swing-and-miss in his game; can get in his head during at-bats; gets visibly frustrated when he misses a pitch or fouls one back; extremely talented hitter with huge tools and the beginnings of a plan at the plate; should get better with age and repetitions; can see him being a 7 hitter soon due to raw athleticism and knowledge of hitting. - Grade: 6

vs. LHP

vs. RHP

Don’t throw him a FB on the outer third of the plate on the first pitch; can be caught swinging over the top of a changeup or curve; can and will adjust to off-speed and breaking; loves the slider down and in, kind of like a left-handed batter; bust him inside with hard fastballs to get him off the plate; bring in a RHP in big situations.

Showed a slightly more patient approach vs. RHP; he knows they will try to go away on him a lot with sliders and he has begun to spit on that pitch; still susceptible to chase during a good sequence; he understands when the pitcher is pitching around him and he won’t expand the zone.

Notable At-bats

Date

Description

9/11/13

Second AB vs. Corbin (LHP): Corbin started him with a changeup down in the zone which he barely fouled off; took a FB inside for a ball; then fouled three hard breaking sliders down the left field line; Corbin came back inside with a FB and he didn’t budge; final pitch of the sequence was a FB middle-away at 92 mph which he lined to a diving Goldschmidt at first base; saw the kitchen sink and didn’t seem uncomfortable; was able to fight off tough breaking stuff and still crush his fastball.

9/13/13

First AB vs. Bumgarner (LHP): First pitch Puig squared to bunt but pulled away on a ball; took another FB for a ball inside; fouled the next inside FB back to the screen; the next two pitches were FBs up and in for strike at 94 mph; the last one was up and out of the zone which Puig swung through for a K; pattern starting to take shape vs. Puig; didn’t throw one off-speed pitch because Puig couldn’t catch up to Bumgarner’s plus FB, especially with pinpoint location.

9/16/13

Third AB vs. Cahill (RHP): Bases loaded situation; sinker (89) down and in swung and missed; sinker in the dirt; slider (81) didn’t bite; then two more sinkers down in the zone for balls; Puig knew he wasn’t getting a pitch to hit, and while these pitches were great chase pitches he didn’t expand his zone.

Power

Huge raw power; bat speed and strength are top notch; swings the bat with a purpose; slight uppercut swing designed for backspin and carry; awesome power to any part of the ballpark; can get caught on his front foot and keep the barrel in the zone long enough to hook it down the left field line for a home run; loves the pitch up and away from him; can extend him arms and attack the pitch; plus FB’s can jam him on the inside corner; tempted to put an 8 because of his ridiculous strength, but I can’t put him in the Cabrera and Davis category quite yet; hit two 450+ ft. home runs in the sample- Grade: 7

vs. LHP

vs. RHP

Loves lefties; .594 slugging percentage this year vs. LHP; sees the ball very well; six home runs in 101 ABs; be very careful when attacking Puig with a LHP; bring in a RHP when you can.

Still a very dangerous hitter; .514 slugging against them; only 9 RHH have a higher slugging against RHP over the course of the season; doesn’t mind going the other way, bust inside when you can to try and sap his power.

Notable At-bats

Date

Description

9/18/13

Second AB vs. McCarthy (RHP): First pitch was a fastball at 89 mph taken for a ball up and away; next pitch was a fastball in roughly the same spot and Puig cleared his hips beautifully and hit it out to deep LCF; pitch would have been a ball most likely; McCarthy doesn’t have a plus FB so he couldn’t go inside with it; he tried to in his first AB and Puig laced it for a double; resulted in trying to nibble away, missing his spot and got caught.

9/21/13

Fourth AB vs. Stauffer (RHP): First pitch was 92 mph up and away and he hit the second-longest home run in Petco Park history by one foot; attacked the first pitch; Vin Scully said after the home run that Puig is hitting .552 with 8 home runs on the first pitch.

Speed/Baserunning

Plus-plus speed; runs like a bat out of hell; clocked 4.04 to first in spring training; sprints on groundballs out of the box; will try and take an extra base so make sure outfielders are aware; recent hip and knee injuries have tempered his aggressiveness on the basepaths; will still go all out to try and stretch a single into a double; not a very good basestealer; speed takes a while to get going; 11 for 19 this season on stolen bases;

Conclusions and Means of Attack

Pitchers are already starting to make adjustments; they were going away very often with FB and were getting punished; his power comes with extending his arms and clearing his hips; with either a RHP or LHP on the bump, pound Puig inside with fastballs early assuming your pitcher has at least a plus fastball; Two-seamers or cutters in and off the plate; brush him back; get him angry so he can get himself out; change the eye level with a show-me chase pitch like a SL or CB; will chase SL and CB from RHP if thrown down and away; make sure he can’t do anything with it; then come back up and out of the zone with a hard fastball; sequence must be executed very well; change pitching approach at-bat to at-bat; start him with a SL or CB with the first pitch; then come back with FB; hyper-aggressiveness early in the count will get him into trouble; walk rate is higher than that of teammates Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez; understands when pitchers are pitching around him and doesn’t mind passing the baton; during high-leverage and late game situations, bring in a reliever with an exploding FB and at least one quality secondary offering, preferably a plus SL.

Matchup Stats at a Glance

First Pitch Swing

17/45; 37.7 percent

Bunt Threat (Sac, Push, Drag)

Shows bunt once in a while leading off an inning/game; rarely drops one down.

Defensive Positioning

Straight-up; normal depth; goes the other way often; no advantage gained.

Outfield

Straight-up; deep to all fields; pay attention to Puig trying to take extra base.

Splits

vs. LHP

.347/.421/.594

vs. RHP

.312/.381/.516

Full-season spray chart

In-sample spray chart:

Chris Rodriguez is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Chris's other articles. You can contact Chris by clicking here

Related Content:  Scouting,  Advance Series

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