Fantasy MLB: Weekly Must-Add
By Michael Jokinen 6/5/13
(Is Yasiel Puig the real deal? Damn, it sure looks like it … three curtain calls in two games!)
Some huge news this week! Even by early-season standards, this week has seen some real noteworthy happenings in the fantasy realm. Actionable stuff, so listen up. Couple interim closers and one Cuban sensation … Aww hell, there’s really only one must-add this week. I could drone on about getting Rex Brothers (COL) or Luke Gregerson (SD) to supplement your bullpen, but there’s only one name you should really be buzzing about …
OF – Yasiel Puig, Dodgers: It’s okay, Dodger fans, take a deep breath and a step away from that ledge. At least for a couple nights the Dodgers have resembled a winning ballclub. Cuban phenom Yasiel Puig has provided more excitement in two games than the entire Dodgers team has in the past two months. Who is Yasiel Puig? Well, one look at him and you’d think Bo Jackson was reincarnated as a 22-year old Cuban defector. I can’t recall the last time a new face was given so many player comps before he even stepped foot on a big league diamond; the “Cuban Bo Jackson” has also been compared to Raul Mondesi, Vladimir Guerrero, and fellow Cuban Yoenis Cespedes. Puig looks like he should be playing middle linebacker, but for now he’s content to crush pitching at every level – he destroyed spring training (.571 AVG) and continued his torrid pace in the minors. Through 147 at-bats at AA Chattanooga, Puig has posted an impressive .313/.383/.599 line with 13 stolen bases. And his strikeout right is surprisingly modest for such a young slugger. He projects to be a true five category rotisserie performer. He wasn’t considered relevant in standard fantasy leagues in the pre-season because he simply wasn’t expected to get a whiff of the majors – after all, there was an incredible logjam of former All-Star outfielders. Well, that outfield depth has evaporated due to injuries and ineffectiveness on the part of Kemp/Crawford/Ethier. So now Puig gets the promotion, and he’ll be playing everyday for the Dodgers in the short term.
It remains to be seen if he’ll stick in the majors after Crawford/Kemp return from the disabled list, but if he continues to perform the Dodgers will be left with no choice but to play him. Consider him immediately rosterable in every league format, particularly in shallow keeper leagues. His highly anticipated debut on Monday night was sensational: 2-for-4 and a game ending double play, in which he doubled a runner off first base, throwing from a step in front of the right field wall. L.A. media are already dubbing it “The Throw.” It really was that impressive – fantasy aside, purely as a baseball fan, you can’t help but marvel at the feat. If you haven’t seen the throw, you owe it to yourself to head over to MLB.com and take a look at the video footage. His encore on Tuesday night was even more impressive: 3-for-4, with two homers (including a 450 foot laser blast), and a double. Through two games he’s rocking a nifty 2.125 OPS. He’s magically still available in 28% of Yahoo! leagues, so go snag him if you can.