365 days of Yasiel Puig

High flying Yasiel Puig heads home on his first year as a Dodgers and gets ready to start his second. - Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers have now enjoyed the exploits of Yasiel Puig for exactly one year. How does Puig's "season" compare to the best offensive rookie campaigns in Dodgers history? Or in major-league history?

As astoundingly and accurately predicted by True Blue LA's own Phil Gurnee in the 2013 season preview, Yasiel Puig made his major-league debut in for the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 3, 2013, one year ago today. And the fireworks began.

"By June the Dodgers can not hold back the Dodgers fan chants of PUIG PUIG PUIG, and Yasiel Puig is inserted into the every day lineup against the San Diego Padres on June 3." -Phil Gurnee, March 29, 2013

For the past 365 days, fans and critics alike have, at times, focused enormous attention on every hit, assist, overthrown cut-off man, and baserunning exploit or gaffe made by the now 23-year old Cuban outfielder during each of the Dodgers 166 games over that time span, almost as much as Tom Hansen obsessed over Summer Finn for 500 days a few years back.

Maybe that's what happens when a player debuts with a walkoff outfield assist from the warning track (as witnessed by this writer), immediately follows up with the best second game as a Dodger ever while clouting two home runs in the process, and belts a grand slam, all leading to him being named the National League Player of the Week right out of the gate.

But one thing that has become indisputable after his first year in the majors is that Puig is an offensive force:

365 Days of Yasiel Puig
OPS+ wRC+ wOBA BA OBP Slg% OPS G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO
169 171 .415 .326 .405 .559 .964 157 669 585 98 191 36 5 30 82 16 12 62 141

Those are MVP-caliber numbers dancing before our eyes.

With so many teams seemingly married to the idea of debuting top prospects in June in order to avoid "Super-Two" arbitration status for those players, maybe June to May will be the new rookie campaign standard. Or not. In any case, given the Dodgers long history with Rookie of the Year Award success, a natural comparison is Puig's numbers above to the top Dodger offensive rookie seasons, since the inception of the award in 1947:

Top Dodgers Rookie Seasons Since 1947 (min 350 PA, 110 OPS+ or better)
Name Year Age OPS+ wRC+ wOBA BA OBP Slg% OPS G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO
Yasiel Puig 2013 22 159 160 .398 .319 .391 .534 .925 104 432 382 66 122 21 2 19 42 36 97
Mike Piazza* 1993 24 153 150 .401 .318 .370 .561 .932 149 602 547 81 174 24 2 35 112 46 86
Joe Ferguson 1973 26 136 136 .373 .263 .369 .470 .839 136 585 487 84 128 26 0 25 88 87 81
James Loney 2007 23 134 137 .392 .331 .381 .538 .919 96 375 344 41 114 18 4 15 67 28 48
Billy Grabarkewitz 1970 24 134 135 .380 .289 .399 .454 .852 156 640 529 92 153 20 8 17 84 95 149
Raul Mondesi* 1994 23 123 122 .359 .306 .333 .516 .849 112 454 434 63 133 27 8 16 56 16 78
Mike Marshall 1983 23 117 121 .348 .284 .347 .434 .782 140 518 465 47 132 17 1 17 65 43 127
Andre Ethier 2006 24 113 117 .361 .308 .365 .477 .842 126 441 396 50 122 20 7 11 55 34 77
Todd Hollandsworth* 1996 23 113 117 .345 .291 .348 .437 .785 149 526 478 64 139 26 4 12 59 41 93
Jackie Robinson* 1947 28 112 115 .380 .297 .383 .427 .810 151 701 590 125 175 31 5 12 48 74 36
Per this report from baseball-reference.com. wRC+ and wOBA from fangraphs.com
* Rookie of the Year
† Technically not a rookie season. While he did not exceed the 130 AB threshold for rookies before 1973, he did exceed the 45-day service time requirement in 1971. But it's a cool season, so I left it.

Puig's own rookie season tops this list, and only Tommy Lasorda's godson's tear through the National League compares to Puig's trip to date through the senior circuit. It appears an attempt to put Puig's first 365 days into perspective requires a comparison to all major leaguers:

Rookie Seasons Since 1947 (min 350 PA, 155 OPS+ or better)
Name Year Age Team OPS+ BA OBP Slg% OPS
Mike Trout 2012 20 Angels 168 .326 .399 .564 .963
Mark McGwire 1987 23 A's 164 .289 .370 .618 .987
Bernie Carbo 1970 22 Reds 164 .310 .454 .551 1.004
Fred Lynn 1975 23 Red Sox 162 .331 .401 .566 .967
Carlton Fisk 1972 24 Red Sox 162 .293 .370 .538 .909
Dick Allen 1964 22 Philies 162 .318 .382 .557 .939
Rico Carty 1964 24 Braves 161 .330 .388 .554 .942
Yasiel Puig 2013 22 Dodgers 159 .319 .391 .534 .925
Albert Pujols 2001 21 Cardinals 157 .329 .403 .610 1.013
Per this report from baseball-reference.com.

While there is only one Hall-of-Famer on that list (Fisk), these are very, very good ballplayers indeed, and mostly quite memorable seasons for those that witnessed them. Puig's first 365 days fits quite comfortably among these rookie seasons.

It's been a year of Yasiel Puig. Enjoy it. Offensive shows like this don't come around all too often.

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