Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig will not play in the MLB All-Star Game at Citi Field, but he should.
Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig has taken Major League Baseball by storm since defecting from Cuba, fleeing to Mexico and signing a seven-year, $42 million deal last season.
Yet despite the fact that the 22-year-old wunderkind has dominated the nightly highlights and is undeniably the top storyline of the season’s first-half, Puig will not participate in the All-Star Game at New York’s Citi Field on Tuesday. These are five reasons why Puig should play in the Midsummer Classic:
1. Star power
Forget range factor, Puig has got off-the-charts “it” factor. The toolsy 6’3”, 245-pounder has a flair for the dramatic, whether he’s gunning down runners, mashing two homers in his second big league game or partying with Jay-Z at the 40/40 Club in New York.
2. Awesome numbers
The manchild has had a monsterous season thus far — hitting .391 with a 1.038 OPS, eight HRs, 19 RBIs, five stolen bases and 28 runs scored in 151 at-bats over 38 games since making his debut on June 3. It’s a small sample size, but Puig has done more damage than just about anyone not named Miguel Cabrera or Chris Davis thus far.
3. Chance for breathtaking plays
Remember when Bo Jackson took over the 1989 All-Star Game? Puig is a “Bo Jackson-type package,” according to Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. Whether or not that comp is all hype or simply hyperbole, there’s no denying Puig’s penchant for spectacular plays reminiscent of Bo.
4. Freddie Freeman is injured
Puig was runner-up to Atlanta first baseman Freddie Freeman in the fan vote for the final National League roster spot. Freeman is unable to play due to a thumb injury. Rather than let Giants manager Bruce Bochy select a replacement, the fans should be heard — that’s the whole concept of a fan vote, right?
5. Vin Scully Loves Yasiel Puig
Even if Commissioner Bud Selig doesn’t care about star power, TV ratings, big plays or the fans, he should at least care about iconic Dodgers voice Vin Scully. The 85-year-old loves Puig, thinking his accomplishments are “not to be believed, because this game is not that easy. … His talent is absolutely breathtaking.” No one knows better than Uncle Vin, who remains the best in the business.