Los Angeles Dodgers: Cuban Prospect Yasiel Puig Shows Promise

Matthew HernandezContributor IAugust 17, 2012

To say that the Los Angeles Dodgers have high hopes for Cuban prospect Yasiel Puig would be an understatement.

After signing the 21-year-old slugger to a seven-year, $42 million deal, the Dodgers hope Puig can eventually land himself alongside Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier in a lineup that will have opposing pitchers shaking in their boots. 

Puig was signed in June to a record-breaking contract for a Cuban-born player. He began working out in Arizona with the Dodgers' rookie team after spending over a year away from competitive baseball.  In just nine games with the team, Puig hit .400 (12-for-30) with four home runs and 11 RBI. 

Earlier this week, Puig was promoted to high-level Class-A Rancho Cucamonga.  The young outfielder appears to have the potential to be a Matt Kemp-type five-tool player.

However, for those of you hoping Puig will join the big league club come September you may be disappointed.  It is just too soon for him to make that big of a jump.   

Regardless, Puig's numbers are nowhere near disappointing.  Although nine games in the Arizona Rookie League are not indicative of what he can do at the big league level, it is a step in the right direction and an indication of the raw talent that the Dodgers have acquired. 

The Oakland A's have a Cuban stud of their own in Yoenis Cespedes.  The rookie outfielder is having a solid season, hitting .301 with 15 home runs and 57 RBI.  Many comparisons have been made between these two former teammates.  The Dodgers will be in good shape if they can see that kind of production at that level from Puig in the near future.