The lineup was lackluster, aside from Puig hitting in the No. 3 spot. Most of the Dodger stars had played against the Padres earlier in the day in Peoria, Ariz. But the team left Puig behind, and everyone in attendance got quite the treat.
In Puig's first at-bat, he did his best Matt Kemp impression by blasting a 2-run home run to right-center field off the Royals' Yordano Ventura.
When Ned Colletti commented earlier this winter about the sound the bat makes when Puig hits it, he wasn't inaccurate. The second Puig connected with that ball, everyone knew it was long gone.
In his next at-bat, Puig laced a single to right field. He hit it so hard, Royals' outfielder Jeff Francoeur attempted to throw Puig out at first. Puig responded by stealing second base. He'd eventually come around to score.
In his third and final at-bat, he smoked a single back up the middle. Then, the baserunning antics ensued.
On a pop fly down the right-field line, Puig didn't get off the base nearly far enough, but was still able to beat the throw into second. Then, on a bloop single, he had to slide into third base. Unbeknownst to the Royals, Puig dashed for home and slid in safely without a throw.
Like I said, he did his best Kemp impression for the 8,125 folks in attendance. It was the Puig show and everyone was watching.
Puig's line: 3-for-3, 2-run HR, two singles, a stolen base and three runs scored. Yep.
After the game, manager Don Mattingly made a Puig comparison we've yet to hear (per Eric Stephen):
"'I don't think I've seen anybody do something like this. I've seen guys have good springs, but not with that kind of energy,. You don't see this kind of package. This is a Bo Jackson-type package that you just don't see.'"Bo Freaking Jackson? I can live with that. Let's just hope Puig doesn't take up football anytime soon.
Now, it is spring training and he isn't facing Major League-equivalent talent, but he is facing Triple-A talent. For a guy who has less than 100 professional plate appearances (regular season), that's rather remarkable.
Puig is still going to start the season in the minor leagues (likely with Double-A Chattanooga), but his ticket to The Show could be punched at any time, especially if he impresses against stiff Double-A competition.
Side note: Unfortunately, I didn't get any video of Puig's home run, but I got everything else. I'll work on posting that either later this weekend or next week. For now, just enjoy the photos.
Photo credits: Dustin Nosler, Feelin' Kinda Blue