At 3:50pm on July 14th, MLB Network insider Mark Feinsand announced the signing of Yasiel Puig to the Atlanta Braves. The details are still unknown and physicals still need to pass, but everything seems perfectly fine and that Yasiel Puig will, in fact, be an Atlanta Brave in 2020. This move is speculated to be in correspondence to Nick Markakis opting out of playing for 2020. Of course, this move adds depth to the Braves outfield, and with the new universal DH it could play an even bigger role in the team’s success and game managing. But exactly how much of an impact does Puig joining the Braves really make?
Yasiel Puig has been on a steady decline these past couple seasons, but he still has been an above average league hitter. Here are stats from his past 3 seasons (2017/2018/2019)
Puig certainly has made a name for himself in his 6 year MLB career, but he is not the same superstar he was hyped to be back in 2013. Of course with bringing him to the team we must compare his stats to our current outfielders.
Puig has much better batting stats than current CF Ender Inciarte, but does not have anywhere near the defensive statistics as Inciarte. These stats tell us Ender will certainly stay in the lineup due to his defensive capabilities and consistency. Puig has about the same numbers as Marcell Ozuna, who hasn’t found much success in his tenure as a St. Louis Cardinal. Ozuna has better batting stats by a little bit than Puig. Not only does Ozuna edge him out offensively, he also has better defensive statistics. I didn’t think I needed to make this comparison, but yes Ronald Acuña Jr is better than Puig both offensively and defensively. So now that we have established that Puig isn’t better defensively than the other 3 outfielders, that means he could DH right? Well, Adam Duvall stands one the way. Unlike Puig, when Duvall joined Atlanta he has been on a steady increase statistically, earning a .267/.315/.567 triple slash with an .882 OPS. Not to mention a nice .300 ISO. Duvall has a better wOBA in his 2019 season than Puig had from 2017-2019, and a better wRC+ than Puig’s 2017 and 2019. So now we have established that Duvall is better on the offensive side of the game, which means Puig more than likely won’t win the DH spot either. Based off stats, it looks like the outfield will be Duvall in LF, Inciarte in CF, Acuña Jr. in RF, with Ozuna as DH, leaving Puig on the bench in a platoon roll to play on regular starter’s off days, or if anybody in the OF/DH goes cold.
To Sum It All Up the Yasiel Puig signing may have seemed like a move to create a feeling of fulfilling the outfield’s missing pieces, but after a little bit of statistical diving seems to be a move to get a platoon man only there for depth and as a bench bat.