Should Yasiel Puig Be an All-Star?
Before Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig was lighting it up in the Big Leagues, he was trying to escape Cuba for the United States. In fact, every year since 2000, at least 200 Cubans have died trying to defect their home country for America. Puig is now a hero for his country, and fans in the United States have fell in love with his talent, and love for baseball.
For Puig, he has an incredible story, and he has made the Dodgers look good for signing and believing in him.
Puig wears #66, is 6'3", and 245 pounds, and could become an All-Star after about a month since getting called-up on June 3. But that's the question, should the young Cuban phenom play in the MLB All-Star game with such little experience in the Majors?
From a statistical standpoint, Puig's stats don't lie.
In 32 games played, Puig is batting .409/.436/.667 with eight home runs, eight doubles, 19 RBIs, 25 runs, and 55hits. Puig also has recorded 16 multi-hit games in 33 career games played.
Puig even is making his name known among baseball all-time greatest players.
Puig became the third player in MLB history to have 50 hits in his first 30 MLB games. The only two others to do so: Joe Dimaggio, and Roy Weatherly in 1936.
Puig also batted .436 in June, which is the highest average of any MLB player in the month of their MLB debut. The second highest was Dimaggio, when Smokin' Joe had 48 in May of 1936. In June, Puig had 44 hits, seven home runs, and 16 RBIs. Those are stupid good numbers.
Puig picked up two awards his first month in the Majors, National League Player and Rookie of the Month for June to add to his resume.
That being said, Puig has very good stats, and is in good company. So, why not make the rookie sensation an All-Star?
On Saturday, All-Star line-ups were announced and Puig didn't make the team. Puig could join the National League All-Stars by the final vote. Puig will go head-to-head with teammate Adrian Gonzalez, Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond, San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence, and Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman for the final National League spot.
Statistically, there shouldn't be an argument for putting Puig on the All-Star team. Yet, Philadelphia Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon disagreed. Papelbon said
it would be an "absolute joke," "stupid," and an "injustice," for players that have been in the game for eight, nine or ten years.
Yes, it would hurt for veterans to be left out, but if a player is an "All-Star," shouldn't they be picked as an All-Star based off statistics and not by popularity?
Last year, Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper made the team last year as an injury replacement as a teenager. Harper was hitting .282/.347/.475 with eight home runs, and 22 RBIs at the time of the All-Star break.
Puig's statistics are arguably better than Harper's were.
There can be arguments made from both sides of the spectrum, but in the landscape of the baseball, superstars are getting older, and players like Harper, Mike Trout, and Puig are catching the attention of baseball fans all across the country.
At the end of the day, it will come down to the fans for the last spot on the National League team, so whether you agree or disagree, you can decide if Puig is an All-Star.