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.

Giants hire Gabe Kapler as new manager

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The Giants announced on Tuesday the hiring of Gabe Kapler as manager. Kapler, filling the extremely large shoes of future Hall of Famer Bruce Bochy, inked a three-year deal, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. Kapler was one of three finalists for the job, beating out Astros bench coach Joe Espada and Rays bench coach Matt Quataro.

Following his 12-year playing career, Kapler was a coach for Israel’s team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic qualifier. He then became an analyst for FS1 before joining the Dodgers’ front office as the director of player development in November 2014. He was involved in three scandals there: one in which he tried to handle a sexual assault incident involving two Dodgers minor league players without telling police, one in which he allegedly discriminated against Nick Francona, a veteran and former baseball operations employee, and an incident that implicated most of the Dodgers’ front office concerning the recruiting of international free agents. The Dodgers reportedly kept a spreadsheet of employees and their level of criminality.

Despite Kapler’s background, the Phillies hired him as their manager ahead of the 2018 season. He would lead the Phillies to an 80-82 record that year and then helped them improve by one game in 2019, finishing at exactly .500 before being fired. Kapler’s tenure in Philly was tumultuous, often drawing ire from the local media and subsequently the fan base for not being tough enough on his players. The Phillies also reportedly had a clubhouse issue in 2018 in which players were playing video games in the clubhouse during games, prompting Carlos Santana to smash a TV with a bat.

Kapler has a history with Farhan Zaidi, the Giants’ president of baseball operations. They worked together in the Dodgers’ front office as Zaidi served as GM from November 2014-18.