The ever enigmatic Yasiel Puig got off to a hot start in April before cooling down towards the end of the month. Puig tied with Andrew Toles for the most home runs among the Dodgers’ outfielders with five long balls. Puig also provided his usual rock solid defense, among which was this play where he gunned down Brandon Belt at home to save a run. This was a big play and momentum shifter due to the close and low-scoring nature that Giants-Dodgers matchups usually are, meaning every run is that much more valuable.
While Puig’s batting average was low at .236, he was very unlucky with a BABIP of only .225. He should see some hits start falling in soon, but he needs to quit trying to hit fly balls which is the biggest reason why his BABIP is so low.
Interestingly, Puig had much more of success batting lower in the order. He hit .500 batting sixth and .417 hitting eight in the order. However, hitting fourth or fifth in the order saw Puig hit below .200. If the Dodgers can keep him lower in the order, he will be more successful.
Another thing Puig needs to do a better job at is getting on-base. You’d like to see the on-base percentage of .327 he posted in April be much higher. Despite the amount of walks he took and the fact that his OBP was nearly 100 points higher than his batting average, his failure to collect base-hits is holding his OBP down.
As alluded to, he did show improved patience at the plate. He took more walks, and that started with doing a nice job of laying off the slider low and away that he has had trouble with throughout his career. For his five home runs, plate awareness, and solid outfield defense, Puig earned a B grade for the month of April. There is definitely room for improvement for the uber-talented player.