Did Puig measure up at age 26?

Back in February I asked if Puig could measure up to other LAD outfielders who had breakout seasons at the age of twenty-six?

Even though his OPS+ was only 118, the growth he showed as the season progressed makes me say yes. He started out hitting eighth but by the time the Dodgers had gotten deep into the postseason he was batting cleanup.  It certainly wasn’t a Matt Kemp breakout season but it was substantial progress on what he had done the previous year.

You see someone else on this list you didn’t expect to see? How about Chris Taylor?

Yeah baby.

Chris Taylor certainly had the breakout season in his age twenty six season.

I guess I asked the wrong question in February because if you look at what Chris Taylor did before turning twenty-six and what he did at age twenty-six, you could say he owns this list.

Player               OPS+  PA Year Age HR RBI   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS
Matt Kemp             172 689 2011  26 39 126 .324 .399 .586 .986
Pedro Guerrero        156 652 1982  26 32 100 .304 .378 .536 .914
Kal Daniels           155 526 1990  26 27  94 .296 .389 .531 .920
Frank Howard          150 459 1963  26 28  64 .273 .330 .518 .848
Raul Mondesi          140 670 1997  26 30  87 .310 .360 .541 .901
Willie Crawford       140 543 1973  26 14  66 .295 .396 .453 .849
Andre Ethier          132 596 2008  26 20  77 .305 .375 .510 .885
Chris Taylor          122 568 2017  26 21  72 .288 .354 .496 .850
Stan Javier           119 321 1990  26  3  24 .304 .384 .399 .783
Yasiel Puig           118 570 2017  26 28  74 .263 .346 .487 .833
Ron Fairly            115 654 1965  26  9  70 .274 .361 .377 .738
Milton Bradley        108 597 2004  26 19  67 .267 .362 .424 .786
Mike Marshall         108 362 1986  26 19  53 .233 .298 .439 .738
Bill Buckner          105 680 1976  26  7  60 .301 .326 .389 .716
Todd Hollandsworth    104 287 1999  26  9  32 .284 .345 .448 .793
Willie Davis          102 653 1966  26 11  61 .284 .302 .405 .708
Ken Landreaux          91 421 1981  26  7  41 .251 .297 .367 .664
Jayson Werth           89 395 2005  26  7  43 .234 .338 .374 .711
Henry Rodriguez        89 330 1994  26  8  49 .268 .307 .405 .712

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/9/2017.

So what can we expect at age 27? Here is the list of LAD who played in the outfield with over 200 PA at age 26 and 27.
I kept two names on here. Pedro Guerrero only shows up at age 26 because at age 27 he didn’t play enough outfield to qualify. I also kept Tommy Davis on here because I can’t believe he was still only 26 when he traded in the winter of 1966.

Andre was an eerie match.

Frank Howard fell off big time at age 27 and found himself traded

Kal Daniels fell off big time and would never again replicate his age 26 year old season.

Ken Landreaux actually improved at age 27 from age 26, and would improve again at age 28. I never noticed that Ken Landreaux finished his career as a Dodger at the young age of 32.

Matt Kemp went from the best player in the National League to hitting the wall in Colorado on August 28th and never being the same.

Ron Fairly exploded at age 27 in 1966 after a solid season at age 26

Bet most older Dodger fans had no idea that Willie Crawford had back to back seasons with an OPS+ of 140 and 130.

Player               OPS+  PA Year Age HR RBI   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS     Pos
Andre Ethier          132 596 2008  26 20  77 .305 .375 .510 .885   *97/H
Andre Ethier          132 685 2009  27 31 106 .272 .361 .508 .869    *9/H
Chris Taylor          122 568 2017  26 21  72 .288 .354 .496 .850 8746H/5
Frank Howard          111 492 1964  27 24  69 .226 .303 .432 .735     *9H
Frank Howard          150 459 1963  26 28  64 .273 .330 .518 .848   *9H/7
Kal Daniels           108 531 1991  27 17  73 .249 .337 .397 .734    *7/H
Kal Daniels           155 526 1990  26 27  94 .296 .389 .531 .920    *7/H
Ken Landreaux          91 421 1981  26  7  41 .251 .297 .367 .664    *8/H
Ken Landreaux         112 518 1982  27  7  50 .284 .341 .410 .751   *8H/7
Matt Kemp             147 449 2012  27 23  69 .303 .367 .538 .906    *8/H
Matt Kemp             172 689 2011  26 39 126 .324 .399 .586 .986   *8/DH
Mike Marshall         108 362 1986  26 19  53 .233 .298 .439 .738   *9/H7
Mike Marshall         108 428 1987  27 16  72 .294 .327 .460 .787    *9/H
Milton Bradley        108 597 2004  26 19  67 .267 .362 .424 .786  *897/H
Milton Bradley        118 316 2005  27 13  38 .290 .350 .484 .835    *8/H
Pedro Guerrero        156 652 1982  26 32 100 .304 .378 .536 .914    *985
Raul Mondesi          115 617 1998  27 30  90 .279 .316 .497 .813     *89
Raul Mondesi          140 670 1997  26 30  87 .310 .360 .541 .901    *9/H
Ron Fairly            115 654 1965  26  9  70 .274 .361 .377 .738  *983/H
Ron Fairly            142 409 1966  27 14  61 .288 .380 .464 .844  *93H/8
Todd Hollandsworth     77 293 2000  27  8  24 .234 .314 .372 .686  *8H/79
Todd Hollandsworth    104 287 1999  26  9  32 .284 .345 .448 .793  8H73/9
Tommy Davis           110 330 1966  27  3  27 .313 .345 .383 .729   *7H/5
Willie Crawford       130 540 1974  27 11  61 .295 .376 .432 .808   *9H/8
Willie Crawford       140 543 1973  26 14  66 .295 .396 .453 .849  *9H7/8
Willie Davis           97 610 1967  27  6  41 .257 .295 .367 .662    *8/H
Willie Davis          102 653 1966  26 11  61 .284 .302 .405 .708    *8/H
Yasiel Puig           118 570 2017  26 28  74 .263 .346 .487 .833     *9H

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/9/2017.

Advertisements

7 Comments

  1. 68elcamino427

    Puig the riddle.

    Age – Year – PA – HR- BB – SO – SLG – OPS – OPS+

    22 – 2013 – 432 – 19 – 36 – 97 – 534 – 925 – 159
    23 – 2014 – 640 – 16 – 67 -124 -480 – 863 – 145
    24 – 2015 – 311 – 11 – 26 – 66 – 436 – 758 – 110
    25 – 2016 – 368 – 11 – 24 – 74 – 416 – 740 — 98
    26 – 2017 – 570 – 28 – 64 -100 -487 – 833 – 118

    Puig began his MLB career playing with Mattingly as his manager.
    During these times Puig became infamous for his immature behavior.

    Early in Mattingly’s last season with the Dodgers his frustration with Puig was obvious
    when Mattingly said words to the effect to the press that Puig would never improve until he started listening to his coaches and worked to make necessary adjustments.
    Mattingly was not addressing Puig’s behavior in the clubhouse or off the field, but there were rumors aplenty on these subjects as well.

    Mattingly was let go.
    Roberts was hired as manager of the Dodgers for the 2016 season.
    Roberts addressed the Puig situation head on from the get go.
    Be a part of the process or get gone. Work ethic.

    Something happened during this first season between Puig and the coaches that led to Puig being sent to AAA and a RF named Reddick being traded for. At the time Roberts put it out in the press that Puig had violated the trust between the two men, Puig was disrespecting the coaches. Puig was eventually brought back as a platoon player.

    During the off season, Reddick departed as a FA, signing a nice contract with the Houston Astros.

    In ST 2017 Puig referenced more than one time that he would need to do better to get paid on his next contract … money talks, bullshit walks, as they used to say on the truck docks.

    To kick off 2017 Roberts reiterated that Puig was on a short leash.
    Puig was mindful of his coaches and better results at the plate started manifesting in June.
    OPS by the month, April .765, May .646, June .965, July .797, August .954, Sept .868.

    So this is my recollection of how Puig has gotten to age 26 and going on age 27.

    After the Dodgers recently won the National Leauge Championship, Justin Turner was being interviewed on the MLB network by Eric Byrnes, who is infamous for his own odd ball behavior.
    Byrnes asked Turner about Puig and Turner’s response was , “Byrnsey, he’s crazy! He’s crazier than you!”
    I believe it.

    Puig pay on the horizon.
    2018 – $9,214,000
    2019 – Arbitration Eligible
    2020 – FA

    2018 seems a bargain in today’s MLB compensation environment.
    Puig is focused on his next big payday in 2019 and then the real biggie in 2020 when he will be 29 and a Free Agent.

    I’m sure there are others who have followed Puig’s career more closely than I,
    but probably not many.

    Really, Puig has only been meeting expectations with results on the field and in the clubhouse since June of 2017.
    And I give the behavior an asterisk because the continuous coach kissing is really not respectful to the coach and the constant tounge wagging for the camera … well, describing this as unseemly is kind, it is not a good look.

    My feeling is that Puig is just who he is and he conformed this season because he has a Sword of Damocles of sorts hanging over his head in the form of Roberts and upcoming pay negotiations in the near future. These items are linked.

    Having seen other talented high profile athletes who are “moody” and pout when they feel slighted over the years, it is easy to imagine Puig succumbing this type of behavior once he has the security of the big check in hand. It would be surpring to me if Puig has really turned over a new leaf and is truly a changed man. Time will tell us.
    “Turning on the charm, just long enough to get you by” – Bob Seager

    I would trade Puig this off season for as many young stud pitchers that I could get in return.
    Install Verdugo or Toles or Pederson in RF, roll with it and never look back.
    The Dodgers also have some other highly rated OF prospects who will soon be ready for MLB play.

    118 OPS+ is very nice, but it is not elite and can be replaced.

    Like

  2. This was a great summary of a tumultuous career.
    118 OPS+ can be replaced but that could also just be the tip of the iceberg for his skill level. Factor in his defense and it gets harder to replace with the left handed talent you mentioned. This was the first year Puig did not hit left hand pitching, that was the only element of his offense that was missing. That will come back. He still has a top five MVP season in his back pocket.
    I would not trade Puig this winter, I would let him play out next summer and if financial motivation is his bait, let him be motivated for the Dodgers.
    I’ve seen alot of right fielders for the Dodgers, I’ve never seen one so entertaining and good on the defensive side this season. I might be slighting Reggie and Mondesi,

    Like

    • 68elcamino427

      Agree with what you say.

      The three most recent years are more alike than the first two though.
      I know that you have already considered this.

      But … those hammys …
      Puig is a large man and he has had problems with them in back to back years prior to 2017.
      The temptation to keep him and play him another year is great.
      However, if he has another injury marred season, you’re back to square one regarding his value in trade.
      Part of the present and future perceived value you mention
      Is also value in trade as well.

      I guess I kinda view Puig and his behavior as something that will go wrong again,
      a matter of when and not if scenario.

      Puig is a excellent defender, but i feel that players like Verdugo and Toles can also do a good of job playing defense too. Maybe not video game good like Puig, but good enough to be characterized as MLB above average or MLB good.
      And I feel that is good enough to get the job done.

      Like

      • I’m not concerned with his trade value. If he has the same trouble in 2018 that he had in 2015/2016 regarding his health you still have the fallback options of Toles/Pederson/Verdugo.
        If I thought Puig was just what we saw based on an 118 OPS+ I would agree with you, but I still believe he is so much more. That being said, I could easily be wrong and if the Dodgers do trade him this winter I’d understand and figure there were underlying issues that are still problematic about him for the organization.
        I would however trade him for an outfielder, I’m not sure that the trio of Toles/Pederson/Verdugo can fill two spots for a team with championship aspirations.

        Like

        • 68elcamino427

          It appears the body has the ability to produce so much more.

          The track record says the mind may not be disciplined enough to make it happen.

          Like

  3. 68elcamino427

    Here’s the counter argument for keeping Puig.

    In 2017 Puig finally got it.
    He performed great on the biggest stage, the World Series.

    If you’re the Dodgers, you have spent five years patiently trying to develop this player.
    Working for the payday seems to be a motivator for Puig
    so you ride the Wild Horse all the way to FA and then reevaluate.

    This is what is most likely to happen.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: