Is the Yasiel Puig Honeymoon Over?

Chris Stephens@@chris_stephens6Correspondent IIJuly 23, 2013

TORONTO, CANADA - JULY 22: Yasiel Puig #66 of the Los Angeles Dodgers warms up during batting practice before MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays on July 22, 2013 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Yasiel Puig can do no wrong.

At least that's what some folks in the media and Los Angeles Dodgers fans thought when he broke into MLB.

But now one has to wonder if the Puig honeymoon is over, and if he'll start to be seen as someone who may not be the next greatest thing.

There's no doubt Puig came into the big leagues on a tear. After all, he was batting .474 with five home runs and 11 RBI after 15 games.

In fact, his play through the first month earned him a spot on the final player All-Star fan vote.

Multiple writers across all media, including here at Bleacher Report, thought Puig deserved to win the final vote despite his lack of experience.

However, the fans thought otherwise and voted in the Atlanta Braves' Freddie Freeman.

When all of that died down, Puig got back to the business of baseball, and he has had many issues over the last month.

 

The Stats

For all the talk of Puig's stats to begin his career, fans are forgetting to look at what he's done lately. After all, this is a "what have you done for me lately" society.

Since July 3, Puig is batting .220 with no home runs, three RBI and 21 strikeouts.

That's not exactly the second coming, is it?

I know the proverbial "haters gonna hate" line is going to come from many, but you have to look at the stats to see he's not getting it done at the plate.

Sure, he's been great in right field making a ton of great defensive plays, but so did Jeff Francoeur early in his career. Bottom line, Puig has to do more than just play defense.

 

Some People Just Don't Like Him

There's no question some people just don't like Puig. Whether it's because he was overhyped when he first got to Los Angeles or the fact that he plays for the Dodgers, we don't know.

Some players don't like him because of his perceived arrogance.

According to a report by ESPN Los AngelesArizona Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero and pitcher Ian Kennedy consider his style of play arrogant, and they consider his actions on the field stupid.

This is how Puig responded:

"That's my game," Puig said Thursday. "I'm going to play my baseball the way I play. We don't like the way [Gerardo] Parra plays or the way Montero plays, but we don't go to the press or anybody and talk about how we don't like it, because we're more reserved."

The last part of the quote isn't what people are focusing on. Instead, they're looking at his first sentence, "That's my game."

Those words aren't exactly a way to gain respect around the league.

 

Other On-Field Matters

Two on-field matters have set many in baseball afire.

The first was during the brawl between the Dodgers and Diamondbacks.

As you can see in multiple incidents in the video, Puig is seen going crazy throwing punches. Ironically, MLB didn't suspend him for his actions.

The second on-field incident was when he ignored former Arizona star Luis Gonzalez when Gonzalez approached him during batting practice.

According to Dan Bickley of USA Today, this is how it went down:

During batting practice before Monday's game at Chase Field, Puig was approached by Luis Gonzalez. The former Diamondbacks star introduced himself, and began relating how his family also had roots in Cuba, just like Puig.

Except Puig wouldn't even look up or acknowledge his visitor. And for the record, Gonzalez was speaking Spanish, so nothing was lost in translation.

Thankfully, Los Angeles hitting coach Mark McGwire admonished Puig after seeing his actions.

But is it something that should have even needed to be addressed? Shouldn't Puig have had a little more respect?

 

Honeymoon Over

Fans and players defended Puig for his actions when he was producing.

It will be interesting to see how they react now that he's not doing so well at the plate.

He was great the first month, but now he must prove he was worth the hype over the rest of the season.

If he doesn't, then he goes down as another overhyped prospect by the fans and the media.