LA Phenom Yasiel Puig Signing Autographs (Video)

The 2013 Los Angeles Dodgers season can easily be classified as two distinct and very different episodes, “The Pre Yasiel Puig Era” and “The Yasiel Puig Era.” Coming into LA's June 3rd game, with the San Diego Padres, Hollywood's high priced roster had posted a rather underwhelming record of 23-32. 70 games later, the Dodgers now find themselves atop the National league West, after going 50-20, during this 2.5-month stretch of lightening hot baseball. Amazingly, LA has captured 43 of their last 55 ballgames (entering Wednesday).

The Dodgers remarkable resurgence is credited to the dual arrival of Puig and their very talented shortstop Hanley Ramirez. Since June 3, Puig is hitting .352, with 12 HR and 28 RBI, while Ramirez (made season debut on June 4) has posted a .346 BA, with 12 HR and 39 RBI. Ramirez's bat, along with Puig's five-tool burst of energy, simultaneously woke up what had been a dormant, uninspired team.  

While Puig's exuberance has led him to make some downright dumb throwing and base running decisions, overall, his impact on LA baseball has been nothing less than monumental. Very rarely has a player lit such an immediate fuse under a franchise, particularly an organization with as many big personalities as the Dodgers. Not bad for a 22-year-old, who defected from Cuba less than two years ago.

With a seven-year/$42 million contract in hand, Puig has quickly embraced the opportunities that come with being famous in America, particularly in Los Angeles. Whether it be hanging with Snoop Lion at the Playboy Mansion, or rolling with LeBron James at a Miami club, the native of Cienfuegos, Cuba has quickly become one of the most talked about athletes in sports. Tuesday's benching, fine and subsequent go-ahead homerun became the latest example of Puig's dynamic way of doing things. What a show this guy has become!

Above is original video of Puig signing autographs (submitted by a tipster), during a mid-June off day in San Diego. Though his English is rather limited, the phenom has repeatedly found the time to mix it up with his many fans, despite what can be described as a somewhat surly relationship with the media. On this day, the effervescent Puig could not have been a cooler customer.