Yasiel Puig
Yasiel Puig
28-Year-Old OutfielderOF
Cincinnati Reds
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Puig may never realize the potential teased when he burst onto the scene in 2013, but if the past two seasons are an indication, his skills have stabilized to the point where we can bank on him being a plus contributor, especially in power. From a skills perspective, 2018 mirrored 2017, albeit with 126 fewer PA. Puig missed almost two weeks early with an ankle contusion, then nearly three weeks midseason with an oblique strain. His historical reverse splits were more extreme than normal (.921 vs. RHP, .628 vs. LHP). He hasn't actually accrued ample plate appearances to own the splits, but it certainly appears safe to say he hits RHP better than LHP. Following an offseason trade to Cincinnati, Puig has been reunited with hitting coach Turner Ward and now has a clear path to a true everyday role in 2019, but he should realistically be drafted for his floor as opposed to the perceived "sky is the limit" ceiling he had when he first came over from Cuba. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a one-year, $9.7 million contract with the Reds in January of 2019, avoiding arbitration.
Homers twice on Sunday
OFCincinnati Reds
March 18, 2019
Puig had two more homers on Sunday against the Indians, giving him four for spring training. He's hitting .375/.429/.844 in 32 at-bats so far this spring.
The overall line is nice, but the nicer thing to see was that the two homers came against Corey Kluber and Brad Hand. His ADP continues to rise, as he went as high as 48th overall in last weekend's NFBC Main Event drafts.
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Batting Stats
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Minor League Game Log
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2016
Since 2016vs Left .666 429 42 12 44 12 .217 .298 .368
Since 2016vs Right .865 953 135 50 138 23 .285 .349 .515
2018vs Left .628 153 16 4 15 7 .209 .268 .360
2018vs Right .921 291 44 19 48 8 .297 .357 .564
2017vs Left .592 145 12 2 10 5 .183 .317 .275
2017vs Right .909 425 60 26 64 10 .288 .355 .554
2016vs Left .784 131 14 6 19 0 .261 .313 .471
2016vs Right .715 237 31 5 26 5 .265 .329 .386
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2016
OPS on Road
OPS on Road
OPS on Road
OPS at Home
Since 2016Home .761 651 81 26 89 12 .252 .320 .442
Since 2016Away .842 731 96 36 93 23 .275 .346 .495
2018Home .686 227 25 6 28 6 .243 .295 .390
2018Away .965 217 35 17 35 9 .292 .359 .605
2017Home .828 261 34 14 40 5 .250 .337 .491
2017Away .836 309 38 14 34 10 .273 .353 .483
2016Home .764 163 22 6 21 1 .267 .325 .438
2016Away .721 205 23 5 24 4 .261 .322 .399
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Stat Review
How does Yasiel Puig compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
BB Rate
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Puig's tumultuous 2016 put him on thin ice, but he improved his attitude and patience at the plate en route to a career-best home run total and BB/K (0.64). The Cuban import nearly doubled his walk rate (to 11.2 percent) and finally tapped into the type of power that many thought he had but which had yet to manifest itself. He fell just two homers shy of 30 despite a 48.1 percent groundball rate. Puig scuffled against lefties (.183/.317/.275) and has a reverse platoon split for his career, but he's still historically hit lefties at an above-average level, so there may be room for batting-average growth. His near Gold Glove defense should keep him as a starter entering his contract year, and his run and RBI totals could improve with a more regular spot in the heart of the batting order -- the majority of his at-bats (204) came from the eight hole last season.
Either you believe in Puig or you don't. Both sides have valid cases. There's no denying his raw athletic ability, but it's also perfectly fair to question Puig's desire to get the most out of it. Last season was tumultuous for the Cuban native, beginning in the spring, when he avoided a suspension stemming from alleged domestic violence charges during a November 2015 bar fight. Puig was unable to get in a groove, perhaps a result of lingering left hamstring soreness that eventually resulted in a June DL stint. After returning, the struggles continued. That and a lack of hustle culminated in a minor league demotion. Puig responded well with an eye-popping slash line at Triple-A Oklahoma City, yet he was still placed on waivers. After being claimed and pulled back, Puig returned to the bigs when rosters expanded, hitting a modest .281 with four homers and 11 RBI. The good news for the believers is the price to own has dropped. The bad news is playing time isn't a sure thing. Invest at your own peril.
Coming off a strong .296/.382/.480 first full season, expectations were high for Puig last year, but hamstring injuries limited the mercurial outfielder to just 282 at-bats and a .255/.322/.436 slash line. One of the more divisive players in the game at the tender age of 25, Puig's actions on and off the field have come into question, but his upside between the lines remains enormous. Unlike some Cuban sluggers, Puig has a decent eye at the plate (9.5% career BB%), he runs hard and has a cannon of an arm. His .192 career ISO is solid, but his raw talent seems to call for much more. He hasn't always been in the best shape, and while has a lot to prove in 2016, it may be worth gambling on his considerable upside. He should be the team's Opening Day right fielder, and with an offseason dedicating to getting himself in tip-top shape, Puig could eventually provide first-round fantasy value.
After bursting onto the scene as a rookie in 2013, expectations were sky high for Puig in his second big league campaign. Somehow, there was an air of disappointment in what turned out to be a 5.1-fWAR season. Even with a variety of ailments that included thumb, head, hip, hand, and hamstring injuries, Puig logged 148 games last season, but it's fair to wonder if his reduced power was as much the function of playing at less than full health as it was the result of the league figuring out how to pitch to him. Overall, Puig showed improved plate discipline (10.5% BB%, 19.4% K%), but a late-September slump carried over to the postseason and Puig was placed on the bench for the Dodgers' season-ending loss to the Cardinals after he struck out eight times over 12 at-bats to begin the NLDS. Just 24, Puig's ceiling remains very high, but he still shows the occasional lack of polish despite regular flashes of brilliance that suggest he'll be an MVP candidate in the near future.
Puig electrified the team and the city from Day 1 of his big league debut June 3, knocking two hits in his debut and two home runs in Game 2. He had his ups and downs as pitchers started adapting to his free-swinging ways, but Puig also adapted himself, taking more pitches as the season wore on. The end result was a .319/.391/.534 slash line that included 19 homers and 11 stolen bases in 382 at-bats. He's certainly a work-in-progress, but coming off a .925 OPS rookie season, the sky appears to be the limit.
The Dodgers swooped in with $42 million just before Major League Baseball put a cap on international spending and grabbed Puig, the latest Cuban buzz-worthy young outfielder. He appeared in 23 games in the Dodgers' minor league system and delivered a 1.076 OPS with five homers and eight steals in just 82 at-bats. It's possible, with the team's projected outfield all signed through at least 2017, that the team will need to make a trade (Andre Ethier?) to free up a spot for Puig, but that can be decided later. For 2013, expect Puig to open up in Double-A.
More Fantasy News
Hits first spring homer
OFCincinnati Reds
February 28, 2019
Puig hit his first home run in Wednesday's spring training loss to the Brewers. He hit fifth in a lineup that included nearly every starter for the Reds, with the possible exception of Nick Senzel.
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Reaches deal with Reds
OFCincinnati Reds
January 11, 2019
Puig and the Reds agreed to a one-year, $9.7 million contract on Friday, avoiding arbitration, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports.
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Heads to Great American Ball Park
OFCincinnati Reds
December 21, 2018
Puig was traded to the Reds along with Matt Kemp, Alex Wood and Kyle Farmer in exchange for Homer Bailey, Josiah Gray and Jeter Downs, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports.
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Not in Wednesday's lineup
OFLos Angeles Dodgers
October 17, 2018
Puig is out of Wednesday's lineup for Game 5 of the NLCS against the Brewers.
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Out of Friday's lineup
OFLos Angeles Dodgers
October 12, 2018
Puig is not in Friday's starting lineup for Game 1 of the NLCS against the Brewers, David Vassegh of AM 570 LA Sports reports.
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