Generally speaking rumors come from journalists who embed themselves with a team. They keep their ear to the ground so we are always kept informed of incoming transactions, potential trades, and likely roster moves. Every so often, a player sparks a rumor. And every so often, it's worth listening to. That was the case when the Dodgers' Matt Kemp talked about Yasiel Puig.
Matt Kemp is a good baseball player, and he's pretty strong. Yet, Kemp thinks Puig is stronger. That and Puig's strong spring is fueling speculation that the 22-year old Cuban defector may be ready for the bigs. However, Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times says Los Angeles is set on starting Puig in the minors. Just don't expect him to be there long.
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"He's going to be in the big leagues this year at some point, I'm pretty positive," Kemp said.
Puig is hitting .412 this spring. He's all but ready. But maybe a little more time in the minors will raise his maturity level to a point where the Major Leage adjustment won't be so large. The Dodgers signed Puig to a surprisingly large contract considering his projections. Most do not project him to be as good as. Yoenis Cespedes type player, but perhaps he'll exceed those expectations. Matt Kemp is pretty high on him, after all.
Despite the potential that Carl Crawford is not ready for Opening Day, the Dodgers aren't willing to push their luck and start Puig out on the 25-man roster. He may even be assigned to Double-A Chattanooga and expected to work his way up. Obviously consistent production will earn him his promotions and poor results will keep him in the minors, but if you're betting today, if suggest a bet on Puig making the Majors sooner rather than later.