Something special is happening for the Dodgers in spring training.
Yasiel Puig, the 22-year-old Cuban defector who has had only 82 at-bats in the minor leagues, is doing so well he’s being considered for a roster berth even though the plan was to bring him along gradually in the minors.
The baseball people I’ve talked to who’ve watched the Dodgers’ practice games in Arizona have inspired me to write this piece.
One scout told me Puig has outstanding power, is built like Bo Jackson and is faster than Dee Gordon.
A scout from another team cautioned that Puig needs seasoning and would benefit from starting in the minors. But with Carl Crawford unlikely to be available when the season starts April 1 Puig is an intriguing short term replacement.
“He’s raw,” said manager Don Mattingly.
That’s true but Puig is hitting .452 in exhibition games with seven RBI. He hit a three-run homer against Cleveland and was 2-for-2 in Monday’s game against Milwaukee.
There’ little doubt Puig is going to be an important player for the Dodgers in the near future. But this season? That remains in doubt but there seems to be less doubt every day.