BLUF: Raw potential to be an All-Star level player but has to adjust to advanced competition.
The Player: Yasiel Puig (OF, Los Angeles Dodgers) – Signed what was widely considered an outrageous seven-year, $42 million Major-League contract with the Dodgers in June, just before the new July 2 signing restrictions were officially in place. Hit .400/.500/1.000 in brief nine game rookie-ball trial. Played 14 games at High and hit .327/.407/.423 with two doubles and a home run in 59 plate appearances.
Basis of Report: Compilation –Industry Contacts
Body (6-3, 215): Great physique. Thick, muscular build. Built like an NFL linebacker. Strong legs that provide excellent foundation. Muscular upper body with fast-twitch ability. Excellent body.
Hit: Aggressive swinger. Shows hints of an approach at the plate and could continue to develop one. Very good hands. Very quick through the zone. Controls the barrel of the bat well and can make contact on a variety of pitches. Lacks refined pitch recognition and will chase breaking balls out of the zone. Has a good amount of swing and miss, largely on breaking balls. Doesn’t stay back. Trigger/load is inconsistent and changes throughout at-bats and games. At times, employs a leg kick and at others just a small tap of the foot. Needs consistency and game repetition. Potential plus hitter. Grade – 40/60
Power: Outstanding bat speed and raw strength generate easy plus power. Some scouts have projected well-above average to plus-plus power in his future. Hard line drives all over the field with easy ability to get the ball into the gaps. Has present over-the-fence power in batting practice and has enough bat speed, strength and loft to project for plus home-run power long term. Needs to refine approach for power to truly play. Grade (raw power) – 40/60
Arm: Very good raw arm strength. Gets the ball out in good time and can get a lot on his throws. Shows plus arm strength but inconsistent accuracy. Arm fits in RF. Grade – 60/60
Fielding: Pretty raw. Reads and routes are often a tick late and a little off. Can make up for some mistakes with solid running ability but needs to improve. Has athleticism to handle RF and seems to take well to coaching and repetition. If improvements come, potential average RF defender with strong arm. Grade – 40/50
Speed: Average to plus times from home to first but was rarely seen digging it out in limited game action this year. Frame should thicken up a bit more with maturity and he could settle as an average runner or fringe-average down the line. Grade – 50/50
Summation: Lots of uncertainty. Very good, strong body with solid athleticism and some fast-twitch ability. Has hitting ability and speed but will be tested against better pitching. Struggles with breaking balls and will always have strikeouts in his game. Potential .270-.280 hitter with 20+ home runs, plenty of doubles and 15 steals. Defense needs to catch up to the offensive ability. Has RF profile with size, athleticism and arm strength. Potential 6 player but there’s a lot of risk involved. Some questions surfaced about effort and attitude but that’s yet to be completely born out.
Relative Risk: High. Still a high degree of unknown with Puig, including a lack of experience against upper-level competition.
Future: Showed well in a brief 14-game trial at High-A Rancho Cucamonga. Will play in the AFL and could be positioned to start 2013 at Double-A. Advanced pitching could be a challenge and he could take a year or two to adjust and truly be big league ready. Some Cuban imports – Cespedes, Soler, etc. – have surprised with their readiness recently and Puig could do the same next year.