GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Yasiel Puig stands out in the mass of players at Reds Spring Training camp. The former Dodgers outfielder is usually talking or hitting or both.
Either way, he’s making a great first impression on his new Reds teammates.
“He goes a thousand miles an hour, but that's the fun part about it, you get the real him,” said outfielder Scott Schebler.
Matt Kemp, another outfielder who came from the Dodgers in the Homer Bailey trade, has known Puig for years and swears by him.
“He is who he is. He loves to have fun,” said Kemp. “He plays the game hard. He wears his heart on his sleeves. And he wants to win.”
All of those things appealed to Dick Williams, Reds President of Baseball Operations, when Puig's name came up in trade talks. Williams liked Puig's powerful bat, but he liked Puig's powerful personality as well.
“He is ready to hit the ground running. He's so excited about being a Reds,” said Williams. “The reception he's seen from the Reds, the energy is infectious.”
Puig likeds the welcome he has received from Reds fans. He made a brief visit to Cincinnati in the dead of winter and afterward got a warm embrace from on social media.
“I feel the love of the city for the team and love to have me there, and I want to do the best I can,” Puig said.
It's not just the fans who have enjoyed Puig’s company, so have his teammates. Catcher Tucker Barnhart talked about how difficult it was to get Puig out in his Dodgers days.
“All signs are pointing that he's going to be a heckuva teammates and I'm excited he's on my team,” Barnhart said.