Breaking news: Yasiel Puig is really, really good

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Yasiel Puig so often becomes a storyline–for better or worse–that it’s sometimes tough to focus on strictly his performance for the Dodgers on the field.

Since debuting as a 22-year-old in June of last season Puig has played 249 games and hit .306 with a .387 on-base percentage and .504 slugging percentage.

Among all MLB players with at least 1,000 plate appearances since the beginning of last season Puig ranks eighth in batting average, eighth in on-base percentage, 11th in slugging percentage, and ninth in OPS.

And he’s done that in a pitcher-friendly environment, which is why his adjusted OPS+ ranks fifth during that span behind only Mike Trout, Miguel Cabrera, Andrew McCutchen, and Paul Goldschmidt. In other words: He’s been one of the half-dozen best hitters in all of baseball since debuting.

But wait, it gets even more impressive. Here’s a list of the top adjusted OPS+ totals since 1950 by outfielders with at least 1,000 plate appearances through age 23:

Mike Trout        167
Albert Pujols     161
Reggie Jackson    156
Mickey Mantle     155
Yasiel Puig       152
Ken Griffey Jr.   146
Willie Mays       146
Hank Aaron        143
Miguel Cabrera    141

Lists don’t get a whole lot more impressive. Puig has been one of the half-dozen best-hitting young outfielders since 1950, alongside a bunch of inner-circle Hall of Famers and future Hall of Famers.

Puig is a helluva lot of fun to watch and lord knows he makes for easy sportswriter outrage, but let’s not lose sight of the fact that he’s really, really good.

Ex-Angels employee charged in overdose death of Tyler Skaggs

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FORT WORTH, Texas — A former Angels employee has been charged with conspiracy to distribute fentanyl in connection with last year’s overdose death of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, prosecutors in Texas announced Friday.

Eric Prescott Kay was arrested in Fort Worth, Texas, and made his first appearance Friday in federal court, according to Erin Nealy Cox, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas. Kay was communications director for the Angels.

Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room in the Dallas area July 1, 2019, before the start of what was supposed to be a four-game series against the Texas Rangers. The first game was postponed before the teams played the final three games.

Skaggs died after choking on his vomit with a toxic mix of alcohol and the powerful painkillers fentanyl and oxycodone in his system, a coroner’s report said. Prosecutors accused Kay of providing the fentanyl to Skaggs and others, who were not named.

“Tyler Skaggs’s overdose – coming, as it did, in the midst of an ascendant baseball career – should be a wake-up call: No one is immune from this deadly drug, whether sold as a powder or hidden inside an innocuous-looking tablet,” Nealy Cox said.

If convicted, Kay faces up to 20 years in prison. Federal court records do not list an attorney representing him, and an attorney who previously spoke on his behalf did not immediately return a message seeking comment.