With the field of lefty hitters narrowing, could the KC Royals be talking to Yasiel Puig?
Most Royals’ followers long ago dismissed the notion of Yasiel Puig becoming a Royal. Any thought of the former Dodger star coming to Kansas City simply didn’t deserve a second, especially considering the Royals’ oft-expressed desire for a new lefthanded power hitter. The fact Puig is righthanded logically disqualified him from consideration.
Or so it seemed. The club’s failure so far to land a lefty bat grows increasingly conspicuous with the recent narrowing of the market, and the unlikelihood of Jackie Bradley Jr. agreeing to join the Royals leaves the field thin. But perhaps more important to the Puig discussion is an interesting statistic.
Puig, it seems, hits righthanded pitching pretty well. The proof is in his career .285/.350/.495 line against righties which, interestingly enough, is far better than his .255./.343/.419 against lefthanders. It defies baseball’s logic, its conventional wisdom, and much of its statistics.
So it is that if the Royals can’t reel in a lefty bat, Puig may be the next best thing. He hits righties like a lefty. And the idea of Puig in Kansas City isn’t so far-fetched anymore: the Royals want the kind of power against righthanded pitching he can deliver, and they can provide Puig with what he needs most—a place to play. KC and Puig both haven’t found what they need, so the right deal would be mutually beneficial.
Suddenly, the thought that General Manager Dayton Moore and his staff might be working on Puig doesn’t seem strange. We shall see.