Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Don't Burn the Puig

There seems to be some serious outrage coming from the curmudgeonly oldey timey baseball folks regarding Yasiel Puig's appearance on the NL Final Vote ballot for the All Star Game. Now, I think Tim Hudson clearly had a point when he stated that ESPN and Major League Baseball are pushing for Puig to win. Of course they are. He's a young, exciting, fun player. He's good for business. Who's going to get more eyeballs on that game Puig or Freddie Freeman?

The old guard has been coming out in droves to say how it would be ridiculous for Puig to play in the game based on only 33 games so far. Now, I could write this entire post about how despite the attempts at making "this one count", the All Star Game is just a scrimmage that's played for fun. But I won't do that (yet). I won't talk about the fact that Puig would be the most exciting addition to the game, I won't mention that Puig is already a star. I won't even talk about some of the putrid "all stars" of seasons past that were voted in based solely on named recognition.

What I will do is make the argument that Puig has been more valuable to his team than the rest of the field.

Like I had mentioned in my AL awards post, this isn't about sustainability, it's about performance. Puig has a .495 BABIP. Meaning that half of the balls he hits in play are basehits. That's going to regress and it's going to regress HARD. His line for the seasons, however, stands at .409/.436/.667, with a measly 3.6 BB%. Being that impatient, it's going to be quite difficult for Puig to remain the juggernaut he has been so far in 2013.

My point is none of that matters. Right now, he's the best hitter in the universe.

Let's just compare him with the rest of his competition:
Ian Desmond .278/.323/.495  3.2 WAR
Hunter Pence .265/.309/.458 2.3 WAR
Adrian Gonzalez .298/.351/.482 1.6 WAR
Freddie Freeman .305/.384/.459 1.4 WAR

In just 33 games, Yasiel Puig has amassed a 2.1 WAR. The only player who has been able to open a significant lead in more than double the games has been Desmond, who is having a fine season.

When taking all of the factors into account, if you are being objective, you really have to vote for Puig. He will make the game most exciting, he will help the National League team win the most, and frankly he deserves it the most.

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