For all the questions and concerns that exist surrounding Yasiel Puig’s attitude and demeanor, there should be no questions or concerns about his skills. He is, without question, one of the most talented players in baseball because he does a lot of things few other players can do.
For example, his cannon-like right arm is not only powerful, it’s also precise, allowing him to make throws most in the league wouldn’t even attempt. In Saturday’s 6-5 loss to the Pirates at PNC Park, Puig made one of those throws.
It happened in the first inning when Pittsburgh’s Starling Marte lined a single to right field that Puig was forced to play on a hop. With no outs in the inning, Gregory Polanco, the runner at first, had to hold his ground to make sure the ball wasn’t caught. The slight hesitation was necessary, but it was also costly as it allowed Puig to corral the ball with his bare hand and unleash a missile for the force out at second base.
Have another look.
Clear the area, we have liftoff.
If you watch Polanco closely, his approach to the base says it all. He’s thinking there’s no reason to even worry about a throw zipping in there before he takes those last couple shuffle steps. Yet before he can even finish the thought or those steps, Puig’s throw comes zipping right in there, right on the money.
We’re guessing he was more stunned than he was angry. We’d also assume he’s thankful that Puig’s arm is indeed accurate, otherwise he may have been wearing that one.
Regardless, that’s as good a throw as you’ll see. It didn’t have distance, but it definitely had style and substance.
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