Thursday, July 11, 2013

Why Yasiel Puig Should Have Been Elected to the 2013 All Star Game

 As the final votes for the 2013 All-Star game were collected it was announced that Atlanta Braves first basemen Freddie Freeman was the last man selected for the National League roster; not Yasiel Puig. Since Puig's arrival to the Major Leagues on June 3rd he has captivated the baseball world with his star power. At the time of his arrival, the Los Angeles Dodgers were a last place team struggling to get back in contention; looking to just stay afloat. Now they have jumped into second place and are sitting only 1.5 games behind the first place Arizona Diamondbacks. Though a stretch of this magnitude cannot be caused by only one player, the team's MVP is undoubtedly outfielder Yasiel Puig. His play has made him the next "big thing" in the MLB and one of the leagues biggest stars, meaning he should be playing in the All-Star game. Unfortunately the fans will miss one of the leagues newest, biggest stars in New York on Tuesday night.

 Though Puig's numbers in categories such as home runs and RBI may lag behing some other deserving players, his numbers in categories such as batting average and on base percentage are much higher than any other players. A batting average of .394 and an OBP of .428 are very impressive stats even if they only account for a touch over a month. Offense is not the only category where Puig excels, as he is also a fantastic defender and base runner. Puig tends to be overlooked on the defensive end because of his staggering offensive numbers, but his speed and arm strength result in him being one of the best fielding outfielders in the national league. On the base paths, Puig has stolen five bases with his speed, making him a true five tool player. Under normal circumstances, one month is not enough to constitute a player being in the All-Star game, but Puig does not involve normal circumstances. He has caught Major League Baseball by storm and has the numbers to back it up. His one month has been enough for him to become a villain in the NL West, and a player that would entertain the average fan at the All-Star game. 

 The Major League Baseball All-Star game contains a format different from any of the other major sports as the winning league obtains home field advantage for the World Series; making this an important game for all contending teams. If you are a fan of a team that is still in contention, you want your team's league to win a little bit more than you would like too. Therefore, you want the most talented players out there competing for your league and in a way your team. Over the last month, Yasiel Puig has proven himself to be one of the most talented players in the MLB and easily one of the 30 most talented in the National League. The man chosen instead of him, Freddie Freeman, is having a nice season but cannot impact the game in as many ways as Puig. In a game where no one plays a full nine innings, having the ability to impact the game with hitting, defensive, and speed can be a major factor, all tools that Puig possesses. Without Puig, the MLB will not only be missing one of its biggest stars, but also one of its most talented and intriguing players. - Connor Jones

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