In less than a week, the young Cuban who has seemingly come out of nowhere had hit for the home run cycle — a solo shot, a two-run homer, a three-run home run and a grand slam. On top of that he was playing flawless defense, daring runners to advance on him as he hauled in fly balls from his right-field post.
This is reminiscent of how the Los Angeles Angels brought in Mike Trout and the Washington Nationals called up Bryce Harper just a little over a year ago. Both the Halos and the Nats knew they had future superstars but felt they had to bring their guys along slowly, as if they might get a scabbed knee or something.
Trout immediately turned the Angels’ season around, and he inspired future Hall of Fame first baseman Albert Pujols to shake off his worse slump in his career and begin hitting in Anaheim.
Harper had the same effect on the Nationals. He came in as if playing for his life — hitting, running and throwing. It was infectious. His teammates responded and all of Major League Baseball and its fans responded.
Now it is Puig’s turn. His pleasing smile during autograph sessions to his unafraid bat-twirling demeanor has the blue crew faithful at his feet. Without burdening him with such an arduous task, it’s looking as though he is here to save the Dodgers.
Kenny Bristow is the staff sports writer for the Wasatch Wave and contributes to the Deseret News high school coverage for the Wasatch region. Email: email@example.com. To contribute to DNews preps for your area, inquire at 801.237.2143.
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