USA TODAY Sports
"It's been great to see. His exuberance is strong," general manager Ned Colletti said about Puig.
Yasiel Puig isn't playing on Sunday as the Dodgers host the Indians, his first day without a game so far this spring. Entering Sunday he led the Dodgers in games played (eight) and plate appearances (19, tied with Adrian Gonzalez), and has made quite an impression.
General manager Ned Colletti signed Puig to a seven-year, $42 million contract last June, and since then has been looking forward to seeing the 22-year-old Cuban outfielder in his first spring training camp.
"He's been very exciting. When we signed him, no matter what I had seen between the day we signed him and the opening of spring training, I was going to be most interested in how he would look here," Colletti said. "As the camp goes on we'll continue to get to see how he progresses."
Puig is hitting .389/.368/.556 (7-for-18 with three doubles and a sacrifice fly) in the early going, showing great promise.
"You've got to like how he plays. He plays all out, all the time. He's got a plus arm, plus speed, plus power, and a pretty good approach at the plate right now," Colletti said. "As the spring goes on and as players who are going to make their big league pitching staffs and veterans who will continue to pitch get more refined as opposed to just building arm strength, it will be another chapter to see."
Given that Puig didn't play for roughly a year and a half between defecting from Cuba and signing with the Dodgers, and has only played 23 minor league games and 20 more in the Puerto Rican Winter League, the team would like Puig to get more experience before calling him up. But when asked where Puig might start the year, Colletti didn't mention a particular level.
"He needs at-bats, he needs to play," Colletti said.