Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
2. Yasiel Puig
There is no questioning the overall potential that Yasiel Puig possesses. His arrival in 2013 transofrmed a mortibund Dodgers team, helping boost them into the playoffs and, in all likelihood, saving Don Mattingly‘s job. His pure raw ability, his power and speed combination and his reputation defensively, would certainly make Puig one of the bright young stars of the game.
However, there are still plenty of holes in Puig’s game. Despite his excellent speed, Puig has a terrible stolen base success rate, only stealing 22 bases in 37 attempts. Likewise, Puig’s excellent defensive reputation, based mainly on his strong arm, is vastly overstated. He routinely overthrows the cutoff man and seemingly has no true idea as to where the ball is going. In fact, last season, Puig had a -0.2 defensive WAR.
Puig is still a valuable player. Hovering around 5.0 WAR over his two seasons in the majors, he is definitely an All-Star caliber right fielder. However, that does not change the fact that he may be overrated in baseball circles, at least as his present baseball capabilities translate.
Yasiel Puig certainly appears to be destined for stardom, but in the present day, a healthy Hunter Pence would likely rate ahead of him. For now, heading into the 2015 season, Puig rates as the second best right fielder in the National League West.
Next: The best right fielder in the NL West