The Los Angeles Dodgers enjoyed a historic 2017 season that featured contributions from a plethora of players, ranging from rookies to veterans. Among those who thrived was Yasiel Puig, as he revitalized his career with an excellent season at the plate and on the field.
As part of his annual positional rankings, ESPN’s Buster Olney placed Puig the sixth-best right fielder in all of baseball. He trails the New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, the Washington Nationals’ Bryce Harper, the Boston Red Sox’s Mookie Betts and free agent J.D. Martinez.
In 570 plate appearances across 152 regular season games, Puig hit .263/.346/.487 with a career-high 28 home runs and 74 RBI — good for a 117 wRC+. What’s more, he posted a personal-best 11.2 walk percentage while stealing 15 bases and scoring 72 runs on the base paths.
Puig additionally separated himself as one of the best defensive right fielders in all of baseball, committing just one error all year. The metrics further supported that notion, as Puig recorded a 15.5 UZR/150 and 18 defensive runs saved on the season.
Puig accumulated 2.9 WAR (FanGraphs) for his overall efforts and earned recognition for his elite play in right field. He was one of three finalists for a Gold Glove — ultimately losing out to the Chicago Cubs’ Jason Heyward — but nonetheless took home some hardware in the form of a Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award for right fielders.
The 27-year-old carried his hot streak into the postseason, where he hit .455/.538/.727 with one double and one triple against the Arizona Diamondbacks in three National League Division Series games.
His offensive impact was felt in the NL Championship Series as well, having posted a 1.111 on-base plus slugging with one double and one home run in 22 plate appearances against the Chicago Cubs.
Puig’s bat cooled down in the World Series, however, as he collected just four hits in 27 at-bats during the seven-game showdown with the Houston Astros. Despite the end result, he was one of the Dodgers’ most important players in 2017 and looks to build off that success during the 2018 season.