The Most Interesting Hitters to Watch in 2016

Source: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images North America

Source: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images North America

8. Yasiel Puig, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers
Oh, Yasiel Puig. What is there to say about Yasiel Puig? At this point in his career, it’s hard to say who Yasiel Puig is. Or at least who the “real” Yasiel Puig is. After bursting onto the scene with back to back 4-plus fWAR seasons in 2013 and 2014, Puig looked to be the real deal for the Dodgers coming out of Cuba. However, in 2015, Puig crashed back down to earth rather quickly. Hamstring issues slowed Puig down for much of the season, as he played in only 79 games the whole season. Even when healthy, Puig was not the same player in 2015 that he was in either 2013 or 2014.

After posting a wRC+ of 160 in 2013, and 147 in 2014, Puig finished 2015 only 11 percent better than league average at 111. Obviously his injuries sapped some of his ability at the plate, but Puig also struggled with his approach and mechanics even when he was nearly fully healthy. For Puig it has been a tale of two players. Is Puig the five-win player he was in 2013, or more close to the player he was last season when healthy? That is one of the most intriguing questions facing not only the Los Angeles Dodgers, but really the entire league in 2016.

Puig appears to be fully healthy after his struggles last season, but it remains to be seen what kind of role he will play with the Dodgers in 2016. Puig’s name has been attached to trade rumors on and off for the better part of the last season, somewhat harming his position in Los Angeles. Even so, the Dodgers appear to want to hold on to Puig and see how he performs next season. Despite the alleged domestic incident Puig was involved in, it appears Puig is 100 percent focused on regaining his form in 2016. Fully healthy, and with no impending suspension due to that incident, it appears Puig will be ready to go this season. And all eyes will certainly be on him as the season progresses.

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