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.

Braves sign Marcell Ozuna to one-year, $18 million deal

Marcell Ozuna
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The Braves have announced on Tuesday evening the signing of free agent outfielder Marcell Ozuna. ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that it’s a one-year contract for $18 million.

Ozuna, 29, hit .241/.328/.472 with 29 home runs, 89 RBI, 80 runs scored, and 12 stolen bases in 549 plate appearances for the Cardinals last season. He’s been consistently above-average in each of the past four seasons, which also included a career year in 2017 in which he was worth 6.1 WAR, per Baseball Reference.

It is surprising that Ozuna, a two-time All-Star and Gold Glove Award winner, had to settle for a one-year deal. The Braves are happy he did as he will help make up for some of the offense lost when third baseman Josh Donaldson became a free agent and ultimately signed with the Twins. Ozuna can become a free agent again after the 2020 season but won’t have qualifying offer compensation attached to him, part of the reason why his market may have been slow to develop.

Along with Ozuna, the Braves have signed in free agency this offseason reliever Will Smith, starter Cole Hamels, and catcher Travis d'Arnaud. They re-signed relievers Chris Martin and Darren O'Day, catcher Tyler Flowers, infielder Adeiny Hechavarría, and outfielder Nick Markakis.