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Yasiel Puig and Hanley Ramirez


Yasiel Puig Hanley Ramirez Yasiel Puig is gaining the majority of the attention during the Dodgers recent hot streak, and rightfully so. The young Cuban sensation has taken baseball by storm and ignited the Dodgers. In just over a month, due to the contribution of Puig and many others, the Dodgers have moved from last place in the NL West to second place, right on the heels of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Lost in the success of Puig at the plate is the strong return of Hanley Ramirez. The veteran Ramirez once considered one of the top five players in all of baseball during his Miami Marlins days, struggled the past couple of seasons and entered this year with question marks about the value he'll provide the Dodgers. After a strong World Baseball Classic and spring training, Ramirez suffered from multiple injuries early in the season, delaying his return. Now healthy Ramirez is tearing up the National League right alongside Puig. The combination, with contributions from others, has carried the Dodgers offense during their recent run.

How good have Puig and Ramirez been? Let's look at the statistics. According to ESPN Stats and Information Yasiel Puig has 55 hits in his first 34 career games, the third-most in the Live Ball Era (since 1920). Only Joe DiMaggio (59 in 1936) and Roy Weatherly (59 in 1936) had more hits in their first 34 career games. Puig is the first player to hit .400 or better through his first 130 career at-bats since Tony Oliva (.423 spanning games from 1962-64), according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The Dodgers have never had a single player with a .400 or higher batting average at the All-Star break (minimum 100 AB). The highest was .377 by Mike Piazza in 1995. (ESPN Stats and Information)
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San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers
Clayton Kershaw No Hitter Pin
September 22, 2014
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San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers
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September 23, 2014
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San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers
September 24, 2014
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September 28, 2014
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Los Angeles Dodgers Wild Card
October 01, 2014
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October 03, 2014
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October 18, 2014
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October 19, 2014
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October 24, 2014
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October 25, 2014
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October 26, 2014
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In other words Puig is in extremely rarified company and very deserving of an All-Star berth. During the same span Hanley Ramirez, no stranger to strong stretches of play, has equaled the production of Puig. The twenty-nine year-old Ramirez is hitting .404 in 104 at bats, with 7 home runs and 21 RBI's. Combined the two sluggers have 15 home runs and 40 RBI's in just 239 total at bats, providing the extra juice in the lineup the Dodgers lacked all season prior to their arrival. This production has led to a Wins Above Replacement number of 2.2 for Ramirez and 2.6 for Puig, both well above the league average and the highest rate that Ramirez has produced since his powerful days as a Marlin. The production of Puig and Ramirez is important due to the ongoing health issues of Matt Kemp. The Dodgers centerfielder, who struggled at the plate early in the season, is back on the DL for the third time in fourteen months. For the second time he's shelved due to a left shoulder injury, an ongoing concern for the Dodgers. With Kemp out Andre Ethier has shifted to centerfield, not his natural position. The other positive for the Dodgers, beyond the production of Puig and Ramirez, is the return of another former All Star, Carl Crawford to occupy left field and the lead off position. By: Chris Michaels

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