The LA Angels (and Me) Need Yasiel Puig in 2020
Before you comment on this about how the LA Angels don’t need an outfielder, this is not an article about the Angels needing Yasiel Puig, this is about how bad I need Yasiel Puig on the Angels.
Yes, the LA Angels need starting pitching on top of starting pitching. And, yes, you could make the argument that the outfield is the strongest positional group for the Halos. That being said, Yasiel Puig on the Angels would make for a scary, scary lineup.
And boy would he make it fun.
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The bat-licking. Bat flips galore. Absolute cannon throws from the warning track that bounce once to home plate. I need it all in my life. I know many, many Halo fans have different feelings towards Wild Horse. Just last season, when Puig was in town, I heard a stadium of people boo him as he stared down an Angels pitcher after being hit by a pitch for the second time in that game.
And I freaking loved every second of it.
There is one thing you cannot debate no matter how you feel about Puig. He brings energy, fire, and excitement to the game of baseball. He is also a team player. Numerous times in the past, Puig has stood up for his teammates, leading to some of the craziest brawls of the century.
In the past (last year), it has seemed like the Angels lay down as the season enters the final month and they’re out of the playoff hunt. That’s a culture issue more than anything. Sometimes it takes just one player to change the entire culture of a locker room. Yasiel Puig is that exact type of player.
And, for what it’s worth, the Angels could use a guy like Puig in their lineup. After being traded to Cleveland last season, Puig had a phenomenal end to the season at the plate. He provides power, speed, and contact as a batter and will still be in the prime of his career next year at just 29.
Having too many good players is never a bad thing. There’s a few ways Puig could be valuable to the Angels next year. Obviously, anyone could fall to injury at any point. But beyond that, what if Justin Upton doesn’t bounce back? Maybe Brian Goodwin‘s 2019 season was a flash in the pan, and he regresses back to his career norms next year. What if, god forbid, Jo Adell struggles mightily once he debuts, as many top prospects do?
The Angels are planning to contend in 2020. Teams that contend have depth throughout their entire organization. The Angels, while having a solid outfield on paper, don’t have the necessary depth if they were to have one of their starters falter or get hurt.
Yasiel Puig could fix that problem, and he would be quite the joy to watch as he does.