Should Los Angeles Dodgers phenom Yasiel Puig be an All-Star? Some say yes because of his stellar performance so far this season, others say no because he hasn’t been up long enough to even be considered. I’ll lay out both arguments for you and you can make the choice for yourself.
Yasiel Puig should be an All-Star…One word: numbers. And here’s a nice chronological list of them. He hit .354 with 5 HRs in 23 games in the minors last year, a good start. During Spring Training this year, he hit .517 in 27 games. I know none of these are relevant to the voting public, but it builds the foundation for the argument and shows that his performance in the 2013 regular season isn’t a fluke.
As I’ve written before, not every All-Star deserves a spot on the squad. It’s usually a popularity contest that ends up getting Derek Jeter elected in an injury year. Though I disagree with this ideology, it still holds true. Puig is one of the most popular players in the game today. He hit four home runs in his first five games, including two in his second game. That’s a very easy way to gain popularity. He has more three-hit games (four) than no-hit games (three) and scored a run on more than half of the days he’s played. And the biggest number of all, after his first 18 games in the big leagues he’s hitting .435. Let’s compare that with last year’s rookie All-Stars. I’m excusing Mike Trout’s play in the 2011 season since he wasn’t the “Mike Trout” we all know and love today. Through his first 18 games in 2012, he was hitting .338, true rookie Bryce Harper was hitting .227. Expected 2013 All-Star Manny Machado hit .238 in his first 18 games.
Purely based on the astronomical numbers, Yasiel Puig should be a 2013 All-Star.
Yasiel Puig should NOT be an All-Star… If you didn’t think Mike Trout and Bryce Harper deserved to be All-Stars last season, then you definitely don’t think Puig should be one this year. Some purists may argue that any player who doesn’t open the season with a team should be eligible for the Midsummer Classic, but with stars on the DL and April and May call-ups, that argument seems void.
To counter the above point, let’s take a look at some different numbers. Though Puig is getting hits, he’s having much more difficulty taking walks, only taking three plus one intentional. His strikeout total is high at 16, which is to be expected from a power hitter. Since his explosion of home runs during his first week in the majors, Puig has only hit two balls out of the park, both solo homers and both the only RBIs he’s tacked up after his fifth game. Does a player whose power numbers are nearly nonexistent after five games in the majors deserve to be an All-Star? I don’t think so. Sure, he’s getting hits left and right, he’s putting the ball in play and scoring runs but certainly not at an All-Star level. The average is nice but it will drop back down once pitchers get enough film on him to work around his bat.
Based on tradition and poor secondary numbers, Yasiel Puig should not be an All-Star.
So there you have it readers, the argument for both sides. If you agree, you can write him in here as an outfielder. If you disagree, don’t fill out the ballot, or click there and pick three of your own instead. I believe Puig will find his way into the All-Star Game, partly because the MLB is always starving for ratings and partly because he’s hitting .435. Regardless of whatever else you’ve done, I believe that if you’re hitting over .400 after a month’s worth of games, you should absolutely be considered for the All-Star Game. Considered. Not automatically added. Either way I’m excited to watch the game and curious to see where our new Cuban friend will end up.
I love you all…except Hawk Harrelson.