Yasiel Puig was called up to the Majors one year ago today, and his story has since been well-chronicled: transcendent at the plate, must-see in the outfield, cocky-but-cool and … wait, did you know that over the last 365 days, Puig has been the best hitter in baseball?
Yes, better than Miguel Cabrera, Mr. Triple Crown.
Yes, better than Mike Trout, the new face of baseball.
By less scientific methods, this website has found that no player in baseball is more clickable than Puig. (A distant 2nd: Bartolo Colon.) Whether Puig is making ridiculous diving catches, flipping his bat, getting arrested for speeding while wearing hot pink shorts, displaying his howitzer from the outfield, or simply mashing, I’m surprised he hasn’t earned the name “Yasiel Pageviews.”
In October, I said that baseball needs more Yasiel Puigs. Attitude. Excitement. Ego. Fun in the clubhouse. The type of guy who’s going to dick around, get benched, then get called upon late in the game to show up and hit the game-winning homer. Bonds and Manny are gone – two guys the media loved to hate – perhaps Puig can take the baton?
Screw baseball’s “unwritten rules.” Those belong in a bygone era, along with romanticizing the ghosts of stars from before World War II. The NFL lives in the current. Historical NBA discussions briefly go to the sixties (Russell/Chamberlain), but mostly reside in the 1980-now era.
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