‘Kidnapped’ Puig ends unemployment, rechallenges ML… ‘Gambling, misrepresentation’ still on trial

‘Kidnapped’ Puig ends unemployment, rechallenges ML… ‘Gambling, misrepresentation’ still on trial

By Lee Sang-hee] Yasiel Puig (33), the “bad boy” who played for the Kiwoom Heroes, is making a comeback to the Major League Baseball (ML).
Sports Illustrated (SI) recently reported that Puig is returning to baseball. His first stop is not the major leagues, but the Dominican Republic Winter League.

“Puig will play for Estrellas Orientalas in the Dominican Republic’s Winter League this winter, a league that has been played by San Diego outfielder Fernando Tatis Jr. (25) and Houston shortstop Jeremy Peña (26), and is of such a high caliber that major league prospects consistently participate each year,” the media outlet said.

Among the South Koreans, Choi Ji-Man (32, San Diego) played in the league with the Estrellas after the regular season ended in the U.S. in 2015 when he was still in the minors and injuries kept him from playing much. The Winter League attracts a lot of minor league prospects as well as players looking to make a comeback, like Puig, so major league scouts often visit.

Puig made his major league debut with the Dodgers in June 2013 after fleeing Cuba and was a sensation from the start. He became just the second player in franchise history to hit four home runs in his first five games in the big leagues and tied a franchise record with 10 RBIs in that span. He also became the first player in major league history to pound out 34 hits and seven home runs in his first 20 games, making him one of the most sought-after players in the league. He was often spotted joking around with then-teammate Hyun-jin Ryu, 36, of Toronto, and the two were dubbed “best friends.
In his first year in the big leagues, Puig batted .319 with 19 home runs and 42 RBIs in 104 games. His on-base percentage and slugging percentage combined for a .925 OPS. After establishing himself as the Dodgers’ starting outfielder, Puig went on to hit double-digit home runs every year, making him a star on the team and in the league. However, as he gained more years in the majors, he began to make headlines for his character issues, including being late to practice and feuding with teammates.

The Dodgers eventually traded Puig to Cincinnati after the 2018 season because of his unpredictable personality. Even afterward, Puig’s problems were not easily fixed. He was often seen bench-clearing with opposing players. This led to a three-game suspension. There were also reports of him being disrespectful in practice.
Traded to Cleveland at the end of July 2019, Puig totaled 149 games for the season, batting .267 with 24 home runs, 84 RBIs, and 19 stolen bases. But no team wanted him anymore. The team decided that despite his baseball skills, he would do more harm than good given the atmosphere in the organization.

Puig went on to play in the Dominican Winter League, and last year he played in the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) with the Kiwoom Heroes. In 126 games, he batted .277 (131-for-473) with 21 home runs and 73 RBIs, helping the team to a runner-up finish. 메이저놀이터

A re-signing after the season seemed likely, but Puig was involved in illegal sports betting charges in the United States in 2019.


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