21-year old Yasiel Puig strode into the batting cage under triple-digit temperatures at Rancho Cucamonga's Epicenter Tuesday afternoon, turning the heads of all passersby in the California League hitter's haven.
On the fourth pitch he saw, he drilled a towering drive over the leftfield wall. Two pitchers later, he sent another ball over the fence with a sharper trajectory that appeared to land in roughly the same area.
In the first gameday batting practice cycle in his new digs, the Cuban defector signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers for 42 million over seven years was certainly impressive -- at four p.m., at least.
"I am very happy signing with the Dodgers and giving my best every day and trying to help the team," Puig (pronounced: Pwee) said through interpreter Juan Bustabad, the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes manager.
From 7:05 onward, Puig looked both athletic and raw and went 1-4 with a run scored in the Quakes' come-from-behind 9-8 win over the Stockton Ports. As the designated hitt...