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Happy anniversary: Puig arrived in L.A. one year ago

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Jun 03 2014 02:57:05 AM CDT
Updated On: Jun 03 2014 09:50:03 AM CDT
Yasiel Puig, Los Angeles Dodgers

Bill Kostroun/Reuters

LOS ANGELES -

June 3 marks the one-year anniversary of Yasiel Puig's debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The outfielder's promotion and his colorful personality -- some opposing players would describe it as annoying at best -- provided a much-needed lift in a sometimes lifeless Dodgers club. The Dodgers took off with Puig in the lineup, advancing to the National League Championship Series before falling to the St. Louis Cardinals.

In the midst of it all, Puig emerged as one of baseball's top hitters.

In 156 games over his two seasons in the majors, Puig is batting .329 with 82 RBIs. He is one of five players to record 30 home runs and 190 hits within a year of his debut. The others are Ryan Braun, Albert Pujols, Hal Trosky and Chuck Klein.

Puig reached base in a career-best 33 consecutive games before going 0-for-4 Monday in Los Angeles' 5-2 win over the Chicago White Sox.

Puig, 23, benefitted most from maturity, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said.

"The biggest change we've seen so far is just patience at the plate," Mattingly said. "I think that's been a huge difference in him because when he first came up everybody was challenging him to see if he could hit. Once he proved he could do that, the first test for him was they weren't going to throw him any strikes. Last year, he continued to swing; this year he's showed he's not going to chase."

Mattingly added that Puig is playing more under control, not throwing to the wrong bases as he had in the past or running into outs on the bases.

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