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Yasel Puig’s great resurgance

By: Corey Parkinson

Being sent down to the minors may have been the best thing to happen to Yasiel Puig because he gained the humility and motivation to improve needed to make him a better place upon his return to the majors.

Being sent down to the minors may have been the best thing to happen to Yasiel Puig because he gained the humility and motivation to improve needed to make him a better place upon his return to the majors.

When Yasiel Puig burst onto the scene with a remarkable rookie season, with all of the controversy and baggage that came with him, he became the latest must-see player in baseball. Everything that guy did or said was controversial. But soon it became clear that everything he was going was based on pure talent and not the work he put into it.

As a rookie in 2013, Puig batted .319 with 19 home runs and 42 RBIs. He caught the eyes of the baseball world and in a big way. His 2014 season would be no different as Puig was named to the National League All-Star team hitting .296 with 16 HR’s and 69 RBIs. But rumors of Puig’s poor work ethic and big ego became headlines for many national publications. Some stories even suggested a rift between former Dodgers manager Don Mattingly and the all-star outfielder although these were never confirmed by the club.

Even with all the controversy Puig looked to have a breakout 2015 season but the reality would fall very short for the highly touted player. In only 79 games last season Puig batted a career low .255 with 11 HR’s and 38 RBIs and talks of possibly trading this once perennial All-Star started to become a daily topic of discussion yet Puig began 2016 as a Dodger.

Mid-way through the season Puig’s attitude and poor performance became a detriment to the Dodgers and he was demoted to Triple-A until the Dodgers could trade him. At one point Puig was even claimed on waivers but the Dodgers would ultimately hold onto his rights. And on September 2 Puig was brought back to the majors.

During his time in the minors Puig batted .358 with five homers and 14 RBIs. But what really caught the eyes of the Dodgers was his humility after being sent down as well as his quietness. Since his emergence in the big leagues Puig was known for his outlandish and outspoken behavior but when the Dodgers sent him to the minors his behavior changed almost completely. Minor league teammates complimented his demeanor and willingness to help other players with their game. He stayed out of the limelight and approached the game like a player who had nothing more to lose.

On September 2 the Dodgers called up Puig to the majors and since then he has gone 4-for-13 with a pair of home runs and five RBIs to go along with three walks. His approach at the plate is more calculated and he’s playing the game like a person who has a new found love for the game and a much deeper appreciation for the life he now has. Whether he continues to stay on this trend remains to be seen and if he can keep up this progress he could make the Dodgers very dangerous come the playoffs.

Puig’s story has many ups and downs from a young Cuban player on the national team to being sold to a business man and forced to agree to give up a portion of his salary. A story that Hollywood could not write themselves. Hopefully his path continues to rise and he finally becomes the player he was predicted to be.

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Corey Parkinson

Staff Writer
Corey grew up a sports fanatic and an athlete. A baseball player up until he was 18, his passion and love for the game has remained unchanged. From the time he was five if it involved a ball that you threw or kicked, Corey was all in. His passion for journalism began at the age of 10 when he wrote a play about a World Series involving the Seattle Mariners and The New York Mets. As a Sports Media and Marketing major currently at Full Sail University, Corey is working his way to becoming an MLB beat writer. Writing for SoMuchSports.com has given him the platform to share his knowledge and passion for sports and primarily his undying love for baseball.

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