The 2016 season was not one that Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig envisioned after a relatively productive winter and Spring Training. He struggled at times, which coupled with some off-the-field issues, resulted in a stint with Triple-A Oklahoma City.
That came after the Dodgers attempted to trade Puig prior to the Aug. 1 non-waiver deadline. During the month he spent in Oklahoma City, Puig hit .348/.400/.594 with four home runs and 12 RBIs in 19 games.
Beyond that, he was lauded for being a positive teammate and having a strong work ethic. Puig’s play and behavior earned him a spot back with the Dodgers come September.
While the Dodgers are on the verge of beginning another postseason run, Puig is looking beyond the 2016 season and recently said he hopes to play in the Dominican Winter League, via J.P. Hoornstra of the OC Register:
This time, the outfielder has his sights set on playing in the Dominican Republic. The purpose, Puig said through his interpreter: “I want to get ready for next year.”
Puig would need the club’s permission to participate in that, which Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said he’ll consider:
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said he’ll evaluate each player on a case-by-case basis. “We’ll keep an open mind,” he said.
After being recalled, Puig hit .281/.338/.561 with four doubles, four home runs and 11 RBIs in 23 games (13 starts). Overall, the 25-year-old batted .263/.323/.416 with 14 doubles, 11 home runs and 45 RBIs in 104 games.
Puig figures to factor prominently in the Dodgers’ success against the Washington Nationals in the National League Division Series. Though, considering the Nationals’ right-handed-heavy pitching staff, the majority of his opportunities may come as a pinch-hitter.