Yasiel Puig

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Subject Profile

Yasiel Puig Valdés (December 7, 1990-) took the Major Leagues and the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup by storm when he debuted in June 2013 and proceeded to set or tie numerous MLB records in the first few weeks of his career. The Cuban native unsuccessfully attempted to defect during the 2011 World Port Tournament in the Netherlands, but then eventually stole his own freedom, defecting to Mexico in 2012. The Los Angeles Dodgers then signed the 6’3” 245 lbs. right fielder to a seven-year, $42M contract, optioning him to the Chattanooga Lookouts despite tearing up spring training in 2013. After only 63 games in the minors, where he hit .328 with 13 home runs, Yasiel made his Major League debut on June 3, 2013 against the San Diego Padres, going 2-for-4 and recording an outfield assist as he threw a bullet to first to double-up Kyle Blanks to end the game. Puig followed his exceptional debut with one of the most memorable weeks in MLB history as he hit two home runs and drove in five in his second game, and then hit a grand slam in his fourth game. In his fifth game, he became the second player in history to hit four home runs in his first five games and tied the record for most RBI (10) in any player’s first five games. Yasiel collected 27 hits in his first 15 games, one shy of the Major League record, but tying him with the likes of Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio (1936) and All-Star Terry Pendleton (1984). Appearing in 26 games during the month of June, Puig batted .436 with seven home runs and a .713 slugging percentage to earn the National League Rookie of the Month and Player of the Month Awards – the first time in MLB history a player has won both in the same month. Through the end of the regular season, Yasiel Puig collected 122 hits including 21 doubles and 19 home runs, scored 66 runs, stole 11 bases and drove in another 42 in only 104 Major League games. And despite his reckless abandon at the plate and in the field, Yasiel has also posted a .971 fielding percentage with 162 assists.