By Johnny Sunchips
The NBA has LeBron James (I would argue Kevin Durant). The NFL has Robert Griffin III (My preference is Andrew Luck). The NHL has Sidney Crosby (Taylor Hall and Jonathan Toews are candidates). They play in different sports, but all have in common one thing...
These are the players, if I could choose only one in their respective sports, that I would build my franchise around. Foundations... Building Blocks... Cornerstones if you will. These are young studs that, are sometimes proven worthy, and are believed to have tremendous upside.
That being said, we move on to the "grand game" of MLB and the two most talked about young "phenoms;" Tampa Right Fielder Wil Myers and Los Angeles Right Fielder Yasiel Puig. Both are youngsters (22 years of age), and both possess the potential to be the centerpiece of their franchises.
Myers in this, his rookie campaign, is batting .287 with 9 Homers and 39 RBI and an OBP of .345. He carries a .448 SLG Percentage to go along with an OPS of .794. His presence in the Rays batting order has provided a much needed pop, and, protection for star Evan Longoria. That, coupled with their solid pitching staff, it's no surprise that Tampa is once again is competing for the AL East crown.
To say that Puig's presence on the Dodgers is a "breath of fresh air" is a severe understatement. His meteoric impact has injected life into a previously underachieving dugout and may have single-handedly saved manager Don Mattingly's job. Since the strong armed right fielders debut on June 3rd, the Dodgers have risen from the basement of the NL West (24-32 * 7.5 games back) to the division leader ( 78-55 * 9.5 games ahead). The "Pesky" Puig authors a .346 Batting Average with 13 Homers, 30 RBI, an OBP of .406 while slugging .557. He also imposes a .963 OPS on the rest of the league while having swiped 8 of 14 bases. Possessing a cannon for an arm in the outfield, he also carries strong instincts with patience at the plate. It's easy to get caught up in the moment, and that is understandable.
But in the category of "how soon we forget"....I remind you of Los Angeles Angels centerfielder Mike Trout. Last years AL rookie of the year. He may be the shining light on an Angel team that may be the most disappointing in baseball this season. Playing out the string without slugger Albert Pujols, Trout has remained steadfast in a lineup with the disappointing Josh Hamilton while launching 23 Homers, driving in 81 and compiling a Batting Average of .331. In less than two seasons he has amassed 58 HR, 180 RBI, an OBP of .399, while slugging .550. In addition to his stellar .949 OPS, the intangible which separates him from the aforementioned. In 90 career attempts, he has stolen 81 bases. This Trout can swim with the best of them!
Strictly judging from what I see on the field, he embodies that blue collar ball playing style that I would welcome to my team! I can only hope thathe proves to be as welcome a role model!
Does anyone want to go fishing?
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