PHOENIX — Count Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti among those who have been impressed with outfielder Yasiel Puig.
"He’s been very exciting," Colletti said of Puig, a Cuban defector who entered Sunday hitting .389 in 18 spring training at-bats.
Manager Don Mattingly has another word to describe Puig: "Raw," said the skipper, who has tried to tramp down expectations for the precocious 22-year-old.
The Dodgers signed Puig to a seven-year, $42-million contract — a record for a Cuban amateur — last summer despite the fact he hadn't played in a game in more than a year. He wound up appearing in 23 minor league games, batting .354 with five home runs and eight stolen bases. But he hit just .232 with more strikeouts (19) than hits (16) in 20 winter games in Puerto Rico.