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Wait a year on Puig as All-Star, future still uncertain
Published 7/10/2013 6:00:00 AM
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He has only played in 34 games, people. Let’s calm down a little.

Yasiel Puig should not be an All Star, at least not yet.

Left off the original National League All Star roster, Puig is up against Ian Desmond of Washington, Freddie Freeman of Atlanta, Adrian Gonzalez of San Diego and Hunter Pence of San Francisco for the final NL roster spot.

While what Puig has done in his short MLB stint has been absolutely incredible, it still needs to be looked at through the lens of sample size.

Through his 34 games he has only recorded 145 plate appearances. That means that to this point, just his swing percentage and contact rate have stabilized.

And while we’re very close (150 PA) to seeing his strikeout rate and line drive rate stabilize, we still have to wait until 300 PA when home run rate becomes reliable and even further (500 PA) before his OBP, SLG and OPS are something we can look at with a whole lot of confidence.

That being said, of the five NL players looking to get in through that final vote, Puig has the highest swing percentage, at 56.9 percent, and yet the lowest contact rate at 67.6 percent.

Finally, where some might be dazzled by his .407 batting average, be aware, that is being significantly inflated by an incredibly unsustainable .490 BABIP (batting average on balls in play).

While some better players have shown that an inflated BABIP can itself actually be a skill, nobody is capable of holding those numbers for an extended period of time.

Despite all of the above, the chances are that Puig will continue to be a very solid MLB player, if not a star.

But that does not remove that fact that we’re still at an uncertain period in Puig’s career. Anything can happen from this point on. We’ve seen many a star fade out, so we shouldn’t be surprised by anything.

I will be voting for Ian Desmond, a shortstop who has managed to run up a .278 batting average while sending out 15 home runs. He has also already compiled 3.2 WAR this season.

I say wait a year until voting for Puig as an All Star.

Give the young Cuban outfielder a season to fully establish his impact on the game, so we can be sure he is All Star caliber.

The last thing we want to do is place unfair expectations on a young player we could enjoy watching for years to come, that’s a recipe for disappointment.

An All Star bid right now is a mistake.

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