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Dodgers' Yasiel Puig leaps tall buildings, collects 3 more hits

March 23, 2013|By Steve Dilbeck
  • Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig belts a home run against the Kansas City Royals on March 15.
Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig belts a home run against the Kansas City… (Norm Hall / Getty Images )

What’s a guy have to do?

Yasiel Puig has done everything but jump on top of the dugout and scream, “Look at me! Look at me!”

He could not have dreamed a more impressive spring. Neither could the Dodgers. He’s become the phenom of phenoms. Not that it ultimately figures to matter.

Puig entered Saturday night's game as a defensive replacement and in his first at-bat turned a fairly routine single into a double, flashing the kind of speed it takes awhile to realize he possesses, considering it’s coming from that large, chesty frame. His hit ignited a two-out, three-run rally the Dodgers used to down the White Sox, 10-4.

It was a pretty good night for another new Dodger, as left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu allowed only one hit in his seven innings, retiring the last 11 he faced.

In Puig’s second at-bat, he settled for a mere single, then took third on an errant pickoff throw. All calmed down, he singled again in his third at-bat. You know, probably pulls his pants on one leg at a time and everything.

Puig is now hitting a mind-boggling .547 this spring and bringing the kind of excitement to each at-bat the Dodgers haven’t seen since Manny Ramirez first arrived.

But Puig could hit .600 this spring – which he may yet; he has 10 hits in his last 11 at-bats – and it is still unlikely to win him a spot on the opening day roster.

The only thing his man-eating spring is likely to have done is make the Dodgers regret taking on Carl Crawford and the nearly $107 million owed him over the next five years in the trade to acquire Adrian Gonzalez.

But with Crawford and his surgically rebuilt elbow starting to look ready to start the season – he started in left for the first time this spring on Saturday – the Dodgers’ starting outfield is filled with a unit of Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Crawford.

And no matter how well Puig hits this spring, the Dodgers are not going to put him on the roster to sit. The 22-year-old needs to play every day, which is why is still expected to start the season at double-A Chattanooga.

Still, if he plays anything like this at Chattanooga, the Dodgers don’t figure to hesitate in calling him up should either of their starting outfielders have to go on the disabled list.

Puig’s supernatural spring, however, is still lacking one thing: he has yet to walk. Of course, he is 29 of 53.

The largest crowd in Cactus League history (13,721) took in the Puig Show at Camelback Ranch.


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