Since his call-up from the minor leagues on June 3, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig has set the baseball world on fire with a barrage of big hits, long home runs and laser throws (not to mention a few boneheaded base running mistakes).
In 24 games in the big leagues, Puig is hitting an amazing .424 to go along with seven home runs and a slugging percentage just shy of .700.
At this point, when checking the Dodgers' box scores, it's far more surprising to see that Puig didn't do something amazing in a game than to see that he did.
Yasiel Puig collided hard with the wall tonight. Don Mattingly: "They checked the wall. It's fine." (H/T @stevedilbeck)— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 28, 2013
Yasiel Puig didn't get a hit.— YCPB (@cantpredictball) June 12, 2013
Every hit he gets, it seems, comes in a big spot.
He's hit a grand slam, he's thrown out a man to end a game, he has a two-homer game and every single of one his at-bats has become must-see television.
In all my years of watching baseball, I can't remember any prospect coming up and having the impact that Puig has had in such short order. Mike Trout and Bryce Harper became big-time players in their rookie seasons last year, but neither of them generated anywhere near the excitement that Puig has.
Yasiel Puig has more HR (7 vs 5) & RBI (14 vs 13) in his 1st 20 games than Mike Trout & Bryce Harper in their 1st 20 career games combined.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 25, 2013
Puig plays with a kind of edge that separates him from his peers. Sometimes it can get him into trouble as he's been thrown out on the bases and made fielding errors by being over-aggressive, but even his mistakes seem exciting.
So when is it okay to start counting Yasiel Puig's baserunning and throwing mistakes? Because he's making a bunch of 'em!— robneyer (@robneyer) June 21, 2013
He has shown little in the way of plate discipline in working only four walks compared to 19 strikeouts and it's inevitable that he'll cool down as pitchers around baseball adjust to him.
Still, Puig has uncanny athletic ability and playing in the big market of Los Angeles will ensure that he remains in the spotlight for a long time coming.
I don't expect Puig to continue at anywhere near the pace he's going at now, but he'll continue to be the most exciting player in baseball even as his batting average drops.
Now, all there is to do is sit back and enjoy the amazing spectacle that is Yasiel Puig.