The Atlanta Braves season is over and as they head into the off-season they will consider all options. Yasiel Puig should be one option Atlanta considers, he would be a perfect fit for Atlanta.
The Atlanta Braves and Puig may not seem like a match but bear with the reasoning for a moment. Yasiel Puig has long been one of the more interesting wildcards in baseball. At times he seems to be the best player on the diamond and at others has been criticized for lack of hustle or completely asinine mistakes.
This has given Puig in some ways, an unfair reputation considering his career numbers. Forget all the unwritten rules or Puig’s fieriness and focus simply on the production.
He is a career .277 hitter with 20+ homers each of the last three seasons. He steals bases and plays above-average defense if Atlanta put him in left field.
Now let’s consider why this is a fit for Atlanta. They are likely to move on from Nick Markakis and even if they keep him it should only be in a platoon role. Puig would be the perfect player to platoon with Nick in left.
The one outfielder we do know is cemented in a starting position is Ronald Acuna Jr., shifting him to right field makes the Braves better. If Ender Inciarte is healthy there is no reason Atlanta should not consider him a starter in center.
Looking at his production over the last few seasons this year of struggling has been the outlier. In his other seasons with Atlanta, he has been a gold glove level defender who at times during the rebuild was Atlanta’s best hitter.
One season of struggles doesn’t wipe these facts away. An outfield of Inciarte and Acuna would leave left field as the only vacancy. Yasiel Puig would fill this role perfectly and could be platooned with Austin Riley or Nick Markakis if Atlanta didn’t view him as a starter.
Though some may complain about his flair Braves players and fans seemed to have little problem with Josh Donaldson’s flair. Production and value outweigh any concerns Atlanta could seemingly have about Puig.
He is a better option than Nick Markakis at this point in their careers and gives Atlanta pop lower in their order. He is a solid fit for a team that needs to undergo a lot of change this off-season.