It's been a few years since Jose Abreu and Yasiel Puig teamed up for Cienfuegos in Cuba, so this week's White Sox-Dodgers series in Los Angeles represents a reunion of sorts for two of baseball's brightest stars.
Abreu and Puig are friends, and the White Sox slugger hasn't been surprised to see Puig see tremendous success in the major leagues so far. Entering Sunday, Puig -- who finished second in National League Rookie of the Year balloting last year -- has a 1.052 OPS and the fifth-best WAR in the majors.
"It's the same thing you see here," Abreu said through team translator Lino Diaz. "He plays hard. He's the same kind of baseball player. He has the same kind of results. He plays hard and he goes 100 percent every time. That's what I'm used to seeing, the same thing you guys have seen here."
Puig's got in trouble with baseball's unwritten rules police thanks to his flamboyant bat flips and reckless style of play. On the flip side, he just might be the kind of player baseball needs to market -- an unpredictable, flashy highlight reel machine with elite five-tool talent.
From playing with Puig, though, Abreu knows the 23-year-old outfielder's intentions are always in the right place.
"That's what people come to see," Abreu said. "He's just got to control sometimes a little bit his play. He means well. He plays hard."