Are We Over-Hyping Yasiel Puig?


What is the deal with the Dodgers right-fielder Yasiel Puig?

It seems that fans have given Puig way more credit than he has earned. In his three years with the Dodgers, he has only hit 37 home-runs with 114 RBI’s. That is surprisingly low for a man who has a seven year contract that will make him $42 million.

Though his glove and speed take up a little of the slack, his arm isn’t very impressive. To add to his great year this year, he is only batting .222 with six hits and seven K’s. Despite these numbers, for a man of his stature and a man with his contract, many feel that Puig is a great player who will be Hall of Fame worthy.

It is his fan club who has caused this over-hyping, and it is them who have made Puig out to be something he really isn’t. There are some though who understand that Puig isn’t all he is cracked out to be.

Craig Calcaterra of NBC sports quoted Los Angeles’ Most Concerned Citizen saying “As long as Yasiel Puig continues to struggle with his emotions, the Dodgers will awkwardly struggle to dodge their flames.”

From this statement, he makes the case that Puig will be the ruin of the Dodgers organization.

This may be a bit extreme, but we could make the case that Puig will be a hindrance to the success of the Dodgers in the post-season. The Dodgers need someone who has a great bat, a great glove, and a great arm. Puig isn’t delivering these, therefore he is becoming a disadvantage for the Dodgers.

The cause of his over-hyping is that Puig has drawn in a great number of people who feel that Puig is the next Willie Mays, so he has become the Dodgers golden-boy. Puig isn’t showing to be Hall of Fame material, though one could argue that he is still young — but there is still no room for fans to create him into a star that he isn’t.

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Puig has the potential to be a great ball player, but it seems that he has been caught up in his social life instead of focusing on the game. Via his Instagram account, it’s obvious how his time is spent outside of the field instead of on the field or in the gym.

It may be a strategy to gain popularity, and to that effect it has been successful. In Tomas Rios’ story on Sports on Earth, Rios describes Puig as “baseball’s most charismatic young star” who “has been reduced to an unknowable abstraction” — which is mostly an accurate description.

Puig has greatness in his future, but unless he wakes up and understands that his fans have made him into something that he is not, he will end up loosing his career. Puig may not be the kind of player who can hit .300 and hit 30 home-runs, but he can be a player who could hit .290 with 20 home-runs.

Puig brings a sort of humor and joy to the Dodgers, but the Dodgers need a team that is going to bring them a World Series ring. Many have taken sides, being either a Puig-lover or a hater. We are often told to not be haters, but in this instance, we may need to reduce Puig’s popularity in order to get him back on track.

Bottom line: Puig needs to wake up

It’s about time that someone expose Puig’s lack of focus and his failure to be a consistent player for the Dodgers. The only way to win the World Series is to be a consistent team with players who work together and practice team-work on and off the field. A team must have players who are selfless and who can regularly communicate on the field.

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