Yasiel Puig is Great, Period. (And May’s Player of the Month.)

Here’s a graphic showing my players of the month so far this season:
playersofthemonthgraphic

Tulowitzki and Puig are two of the five or so most talented batters in the game (along with Trout, Cabrera, and uhh maybe Cutch or Edwin or Chris Davis). That said, their best months give us a good idea of what the upper limit is for monthly stats. Seven home runs puts a player on pace for a season of 50-plus; 20 RBI each month would make 120 for a season. No slugging percentage will stay above .700 for a whole season, but over a month it still counts as a lengthy hot streak. Puig has slugged over .700 in two of his six full months of major league experience. Tulowitzki has done so in three of his 41 months as a big leaguer.

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The intermittent Player of the Week awards I give are meant to highlight some lesser-known players as they go on good runs, which is why Mike Trout never wins though he could like half the time. On the other hand, the monthly awards typically go to the cream of the crop, as talent will win out over larger and larger samples. Even casual followers of the game will know Tulowitzki and Puig, so when I approach these I just try to find something new to say about a much-discussed player. Today, however, Sports Illustrated’s Jay Jaffe gives you all the breakdown you need, and this brief post is just a formal recognition of Puig’s Player of the Month.

I’ll close with a Puig heatmap and a song that may describe how Puig carries himself on the field.

The following gif has two frames: the first shows Puig’s swing percentage from last year, the second from this year. The chief thing to notice is how Puig stopped chasing the pitch low and away, but he also cut down his hacks on balls way inside. It’s real progress from Puig, and any more out of him is a scary thought for this Giants fan.

puigdiscipline2014

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