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« Fernandez, Harvey Bring More than Just Heat | Main | The Draft: MLB's Top 5 Picks »
Friday
Jun072013

Yasiel Puig Swinging Early, Going Oppo

Yasiel Puig's first few days in the majors have included a grand slam, curtain calls and a Clemente-esque cannon shot to nab a runner at first base. Perhaps most amazingly, Puig rendered Dodgers announcer Vin Scully -- a man who bore witness to Sandy Koufax's curveball and Kirk Gibson's clout on hobbled knees, among countless other classic moments -- speechless. The 23-year-old, who signed a seven-year, $42 million deal with the Dodgers after defecting from Cuba last year, has hit three home runs through his first four career games. The only other hitters to go deep at least three times in their first four games are Will Middlebrooks (2012) and Dave Kingman (1971), according to Elias. How has Puig brought "Showtime" back to L.A.? Here's a closer look.

  • Puig is seeing plenty of strikes so far, and he hasn't been shy about taking his hacks. Pitchers have thrown Puig a pitch over the plate 58% of the time, above the 49% MLB average. Puig has also swung at 58% of pitches, compared to the 45% average.
  • He's doing damage early in the count. Puig ripped first pitch homers off Cory Gearrin (a hanging 81 MPH slider) and Clayton Richard (a middle-middle changeup), and clubbed a low 94 MPH Tyson Ross fastball over the fence on a 1-0 count.
  • Puig is showing opposite-field prowess: Four of his seven hits have been to right field, including his dingers off Gearrin and Ross.

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