Back in 2013, it seemed as if the baseball world had met its brightest new star: Yasiel Puig.
Puig, a Cuban-born outfielder, was called up by the Los Angeles Dodgers in June and in about a month received 842,915 write-in votes from the fans for the 2013 MLB All-Star Game. Although he was included as a finalist in the All-Star Final Vote, he ultimately lost out to Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman.
Puig finished that campaign hitting .319 in 104 games with 19 home runs and 42 RBIs. He was selected by Baseball America to their annual “All-Rookie team” and finished second in the NL Rookie of the Year voting behind countrymen José Fernández of the Marlins.
Despite all the close misses, when it came to the diamond and the Dodger faithful, Puig had definitely hit a home run.
Fast forward three years and Puig is fighting to stay relevant in the game of baseball.
So what happened to the once-promising roster superstar?
By all accounts, he happened.
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It started in 2014 when he garnered the reputation as a prima donna for not putting out much effort, always being late, and exhibiting a cocky attitude in the clubhouse.
Then came the book, The Best Team Money Can Buy in 2015 which it outlines Puig as a very unlikeable teammate.
Then the injuries…and more injuries…and more dissension in the Dodgers’ clubhouse.
After the 2015 season, Puig was involved in a physical altercation with his sister in Miami, prompting MLB to investigate the incident under its domestic violence policy.
And then, he suffered another injury.
Owing Puig a ton of money, Los Angeles tried unsuccessfully to trade him. When it didn’t happen, the club opted to send him down to the minors in August:
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) August 2, 2016
Puig must have had the message on mute because shortly after arriving in Oklahoma City, he posted a video to his Snapchat of himself and his teammates partying after a loss.
The social media blunder prompted the Dodgers to release a statement:
Andrew Friedman statement on Yasiel Puig's Snapchat activity: pic.twitter.com/DoSHOhFfhR
— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) August 9, 2016
It seems like the Dodgers have had enough; they put him on waivers.
Maybe another team is willing to give Puig another chance – it’s hard to ignore his skill, but it’s also hard to ignore the constant drama Puig brings upon himself.
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