Hype often overshadows performance. Not so with Yasiel Puig, not yet. The Los Angeles Dodgers slugger batted .464 with four home runs and 10 RBIs in his first seven games in the majors, earning him National League Player of the Week honors. But it's easy to forget the impossible things people expect from Puig, who started his career with a legendary throw in Game 1 and two big homers in Game 2.
Reporter Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times recalls what happened after Game 3:
Puig was hitless in four at-bats on Wednesday. Some radio and television reporters, evidently unaware of how the game of baseball works, were in such shock that they asked Manager Don Mattingly several questions about Puig’s struggles.
“He’s going to have nights when he makes outs,” Mattingly had to remind them.
Well, the world's still not going to like that. Not with some blogs asking if you'd rather have Puig or Mike Trout to start your team. (Oh, that was The Stew.)
No matter how talented the Man-Bear-Puig is, he's not going to be somebody's "player of the week" every week. But what are his chances of being a dominant player despite having a free-swinging approach that pitchers usually, eventually, exploit?
The sample sizes are small, and comparisons usually are iffy, but Dave Cameron of Fangraphs might have something:
There definitely are worse things than matching the production of Josh Hamilton. If he does, Puig gives the Dodgers a perennial MVP candidate. And he might even win a "player of the week" again sometimes.