Hold ‘Em or Fold ‘Em: Is There Still Hope For Yasiel Puig Or Is It Time To Cut Bait?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Quote:
“Roberts said Puig would not bat in the middle of the lineup vs right-handers.”

 

The Fallout:
It shouldn’t be a surprise that Puig will hit lower in the lineup against right-handed pitching, assuming he’s in the lineup at all.  The biggest takeaway from the quote may not be his spot in the order, as it seems Puig isn’t headed for a platoon to open the season.  That’s important for a player who has shown upside before, though many thought he wouldn’t get much of an opportunity in ’17.

Of course opportunity does not necessarily mean success.  There are numerous questions hanging over him, and there should’ve always been even when he was excelling early in his career.  As we noted in our Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide, ranking him 70th among outfielders:

“Puig’s numbers continued to underwhelm, hitting .263 with 11 HR over 334 AB.  The questions are numerous, as he swung and missed too much (13.5% SwStr%) while failing to hit the ball with authority (16.4% line drive rate).  It’s a concern and brings questions in regards to his true upside potential, as these issues have been consistent since he stepped onto a Major League diamond.  Could this be the season he finally puts it together?  Perhaps, but he needs some adjustment.  At this point we’re not buying.”

People will point to his resurgence in September, after reports surfaced that he had tweaked his stance/approach.  Of course the underlying concerns remained:

Swinging Strike Rate

  • 2014 – 11.9%
  • 2015 – 13.9%
  • 2016 – 13.5%
  • September ’16 – 10.9%

Line Drive Rate

  • 2014 – 14.8%
  • 2015 – 17.1%
  • 2016 – 16.4%
  • September ’16 – 9.1%

Let others buy into him based on his strong finish and the likelihood that he opens the season as a full-time player.  He seems destined to disappoint, and could ultimately lose all of his playing time (not just half of it).  Sure he’s had success in the past, but there was always concern in the numbers and nothing has changed.  There are simply better gambles to take, so move on.

Source – Fangraphs

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Make sure to check out our 2017 Rankings:

Position
Standard League
OBP League
Catcher03/20/1702/28/17
First Base01/16/1703/07/17
Second Base03/22/1703/09/17
Third Base02/06/1703/12/17
Shortstop02/13/1703/15/17
Outfield#1-20 |03/16/17

#21-40 |03/16/17
03/19/17
Starting Pitcher#1-20 |02/27/17

#21-40 |03/02/17
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Relief Pitcher01/02/17--

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