Just over a week before the start of their 60-game season, the Braves boosted their lineup with the acquisition of free agent outfielder Yasiel Puig on Tuesday.
Known for his electric (and sometimes polarizing) personality, the 29-year-old Puig is also an ample offensive threat. Last year, he played 100 games with the Reds before being traded to Cleveland at the deadline. With both teams, his combined numbers ended up at .267/.327/.458, good for a 101 wRC+ to go with 24 HR and 84 RBI.
The biggest free agent remaining on the market, Puig’s signing comes on the heels of the loss of veteran right fielder Nick Markakis, who opted out of the 2020 season earlier this month. Puig, almost exclusively a right fielder, should slide nicely right into Markakis’ role, both defensively and in the lineup.
At the plate, Puig’s biggest plus is the fact that he mashes right-handed pitching. Over his career, he has a 130 wRC+ against them, which should be a huge addition to a Braves lineup that has certainly had its struggles in that aspect. Of all the active Braves hitters, only Ronald Acuna Jr. Freddie Freeman, and Marcell Ozuna were even above average against right-handed pitching last year.
Not only will Puig’s favorable platoon splits will help make the Braves’ lineup longer and more dynamic, but adding his personality to a young, talented clubhouse should make for a fun 60 games in Atlanta.
Featured photo: Joe Robbins, Getty Images