Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig's whirlwind first month as a major-league star has reportedly led to perhaps his greatest honor yet—a meeting with Jay-Z's Roc Nation Sports.
Jay-Z's Roc Nation Sports outfit was founded in April and works in conjunction with Creative Artists Agency to market its players, most of whom are superstar-level clients.
Roc Nation Sports already boasts a clientele that includes Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant and New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz. The company also represents potential stars in Tulsa Shock guard Skylar Diggins and New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith, both of whom are promising rookies in their respective sports.
Jay-Z reportedly reached out to Puig when the Dodgers were in New York to play the Yankees last month. Through an intermediary, Puig was given Jay-Z's contact information and the two sides had a meeting. Passan notes that the 22-year-old burgeoning star left the meeting intrigued but did take a session with another New York-based company afterward.
The Cuban outfielder came up to the majors in June, quickly becoming one of the most exciting players in baseball. He ripped through one of the most torrid first months in history, being named the National League Rookie of the Month and National League Player of the Month—the latter being a first for a player in his first major-league month.
Puig is currently batting .407 with eight home runs and 19 RBI. He has a spot in the vote for the final National League All-Star selection. As ESPN Stats & Info noted, Puig's 55 hits during his first 34 games are the third most since 1920:
Yasiel Puig has 55 hits in 1st 34 career games, 3rd-most since 1920. Only Joe DiMaggio (59) & Roy Weatherly (59) had more in 1st 34 games.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 10, 2013
Meanwhile, Cespedes, who is also Cuban-born, is on a lesser playing field than Puig but would still continue Roc Nation Sports' international appeal. The 27-year-old A's outfielder is hitting .224 this season with 15 home runs and 42 RBI. In an interesting twist of fate, Cespedes was named to the AL Home Run Derby team by Cano—another Jay-Z client.
The 2013 MLB All-Star Game takes place at New York's Citi Field this season. It's unclear whether Cespedes and Jay-Z's team will meet during that time.
Jay-Z is also finding new and innovative ways to prove his marketing genius through his first love—music. His latest album, Magna Carta...Holy Grail, was part of a unique marketing campaign in conjunction with Samsung, which purchased one million digital copies of the record to distribute to its customers prior to the general-public release date.
Magna Carta...Holy Grail was released to brick-and-mortar stores and other digital outlets on Tuesday. The album is still projected to sell between 350,000 and 400,000 records despite the unorthodox release, becoming his 13th record to top the Billboard charts.
Jay-Z made waves with lyrics on the MCHG song "Crown," in which he raps, "Scott Boras, you over baby/Robinson Cano, you coming with me." The noted sports agent responded to Jay-Z's braggadocios lyrics in an interview with Yahoo! Sports' Tim Brown.
"My response to these things is we are baseball players," Boras said. "We are former players. We are people who are 24-7 committed to our game. We do not represent anyone but baseball players."
Jay-Z might represent other sports and have a variety of business ventures. But if his recent string of success is any indication of what will happen with Puig and Cespedes, don't be surprised if Boras is on the outside looking in at two of the game's most promising young hitters.