LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig is coming up on his one-year anniversary of his major league debut, and his first year in the big leagues is arguably the strongest debut in franchise history.
Puig debuted on June 3, 2013, and Monday night was his 150th major league game. His career stat line is quite strong.
Over the course of the last year Puig's weighted runs created is the best in baseball (172), better than Mike Trout (171) and Miguel Cabrera (170).
Puig's adjusted OPS of 170 - again, in his first year in baseball - has been accomplished by a Dodger only nine times by a qualified batter since 1890.
The only Dodgers with more home runs in the first 162 games of their career than Puig's 29 are Mike Piazza and Frank Howard, with 31 home runs each. No Dodger with enough qualified at-bats has a higher OPS in their first 162 games than Puig's .967.
Puig's magnificent first year in baseball has been book-ended by two of the greatest months in Dodgers history. He broke in by hitting .436/.467/.713 with seven home runs, five doubles and a triple in June 2013, and this May he has been even better.
Puig this month is hitting .411/.509/.756 with seven home runs, eight doubles and a triple. Unlike his first month when he had only four walks, Puig has walked 16 in May, tied for 11th-most in baseball.
The Dodgers still have five games this month, but if Puig can keep this up he could be the 44th Dodger since 1914 to hit .400 in a month with at least 100 plate appearances. The last to do so was Puig, last June.
Puig has driven in 23 runs in 23 games in May, trying to become the seventh Dodger since 1914 to put up a .500 on-base percentage and drive in 20 runs in a month, and the first since Manny Ramirez in his sublime debut month in Los Angeles in August 2008.
Puig has reached base via hit, walk or hit by pitch in 27 straight games, the longest active streak in baseball and the sixth-longest streak so far this year. During that span he is hitting .406/.504/.736 with 28 RBI.
He went 0-for-2 Monday night but still helped the Dodgers. Puig walked twice, which extended his streak of reaching base, but also made a tremendous play on Billy Hamilton 's bases loaded double in the eighth inning, preventing the tying run from scoring.
Don Mattingly said on Monday that they have discussed putting Puig in center field but have been hesitant to do so because "Puig is the best right fielder in baseball," per Pedro Moura of the Orange County Register.
The Dodgers blew everyone away when they signed the relative unknown Puig for $42 million over seven years in 2012. But with every passing day that contract looks more and more like a tremendous bargain, as the Dodgers have a legitimate superstar on their hands. One who keeps finding ways to get better.