Puig played for the Cuban national baseball team in the 2008 World Junior Baseball Championship, winning a bronze medal. He then played for the Cienfuegos team of the Cuban National Series in the 2008–09 Cuban National Series. He batted .276 with five home runs in his debut season. Puig enjoyed a breakout season in the 2009-10 Cuban National Series, with a .330 batting average, 17 home runs, 47 runs batted in (RBIs) and 78 runs scored in 327 at-bats. Puig also played for the Cuban national team in the 2011 World Port Tournament, where he tried to defect along with teammate Gerardo Concepcion. Concepcion was successful while Puig was not, and he was disciplined by not being allowed to play during the 2011–12 seasons.
Since 2011, he tried to defect to Mexico five times, in order to become a legal resident so he could become eligible to enter the MLB or ULB Draft. He defected from Cuba in 2012, and was entered into the ULB Draft after being awarded a visa.
Puig was selected 1st Overall in the 2013 ULB Draft by the Green Bay Blizzard. Puig is likely to be assigned to the American Association’s Rochester Red Wings, the Triple A affiliate of the Blizzard to start the 2013 season. Many scouts suggest Puig could make an immediate impact, and will likely debut in 2013.
The Blizzard are entering the final months of their existence as members of the Buffalo Community and will relocate to Green Bay in 2011. Now the league is getting their first look at what the Blizzard will be wearing when they debut as the Green Bay Blizzard next season.
While the Blizzard will keep their look mostly intact, their new Nike Uniforms will include new technology that is sweeping the college football scene.
“It’s subtle, but also it immediately jumps out at you. It’s cool, I’m going to be excited to wear these next year.” said the Blizzard’s star player, Shannon Carter.
The Blizzard will move into the newly renovated and finished Raymond Joseph Cannon Park next season. The new ballpark was started back in 2002, but was not completed after Green Bay’s effort to get a ULB team failed in the late stages. The stadium is owned by Larry & Kathy Treankler who have agreed to become part owners of the Blizzard with Woody Johnson. Johnson retains a 51% stake in the Blizzard and will still be the Majority Owner.
Johnson has fought a long battle to get Wegmans Field renovated over the last five years, and Buffalo would not fund a new downtown ballpark nor commit to renovations to Wegmans Field. Fans were noncommittal to Johnson’s efforts to gets fans behind the $353 Downtown Ballpark in an attempt to put pressure on the mayor and city council. It is also known that Johnson was under financial pressure to either sell the team or increase revenue due to loses he suffered in the 2008-2009 Economic downturn.
Wegmans Field was voted 2nd Worst Ballpark in the ULB by fans behind only the Jersey City Giants’ Trump Field back in 2009. Both teams are moving into new stadiums in 2011. The Giants are moving across The NJ/NY state line into a new Trump Stadium in New York City.
Two of the four Divisional Cups have gone to a 7th game, which will be decided tonight. Meanwhile the Charlotte Eagles and Jersey City Giants wait in the on deck circle for looming League Championship Cup Series. The Eagles swept the defending Union Cup Champions in their series with the San Jose Jedi, while the Jersey City Giants again look to move on after sweeping the Buffalo Blizzard. The Oklahoma City RedHawks are looking to avoid another Divisional Cup record after setting a ULB record for the most regular season wins in the 19 year history of the league. A first round playoff defeat to the St. Paul Saints would surely tarnish that historical achievement. Meanwhile the New Orleans Pelicans are looking to finish off the Salt Lake Bees and move on to face their Divisional Rival. Tonight’s Game Seven looms large for all four teams, but only two will move on in their quest to win the Union Cup.
The Trade Deadline approaches in the ULB, and several big names are potentially on the move.
Portland continues to shop SP Roy Halladay, and have had discussions with at least one team has proposed a deal that Portland is considering.
Phoenix has not had any bites on either 1B/SH Kenneth Payne who has recently returned from the Disabled List, or for CL Brad Lidge who has 17 Saves and a 1.66 ERA.
The St. Paul Saints have been very active in Ace Cooan’s early days as General Manager. They are shopping SS Abraham Nunez and have reportedly proposed a swap of home town prospect C Joe Busch Jr for a home town star in New Mexico’s C Joe Mauer.
When asked about it, Busch was non committal, saying “”I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
The Saints also reportedly covet Buffalo prospect SS Tim Beckham and have made inquires about his availability.
New Orleans’ C Tom Brady also remains on the block, but teams are concerned about his lack of production this season, despite his making the FL All Star Team.
Teams have until Midnight EST on Sunday, August 9th, 2009 to make non waiver trades. (Wendesday September 17th, 7:30PM EST)
Portland Mavericks starter Roy Halladay made his 3rd start last night, and by all accounts, improved his trade value with a solid effort that showed that he is still capable of dominating the league. Halladay improved to 1-1 on the season and went 8 innings with 7 strike outs while allowing the Buffalo Blizzard just 6 hits in a 3-0 shutout.
Halladay missed time in 2008 with a sprained ankle, but seemed to be be poised to resume his domination of the ULB in 2009 before he was shut down in spring training with shoulder inflammation. Halladay missed nearly 3 months, and made 2 minor league rehab assignment starts before rejoining the big league club. He showed rust in his first two starts of the season allowing 6 runs and 9 hits against Columbus on June 25th. His next start came against the San Juan Storm, and Halladay again struggled, allowing 8 hits and 7 earned runs (plus one unearned) while walking 3.
Halladay will have at least 4 more starts before the Trade Deadline to continue to improve his trade value. He is owed roughly 11 Million for the rest of the season at this point, and will become a free agent at the end of the year. Halladay had a vesting option for 2010, but will not be able to meet the requirements for it to vest. The three time Nolan Ryan Award winner will most likely end up playing for another contender before the Trade Deadline, as the Mavs continue to shop their veteran players despite being 48-42 where they currently hold the 2nd Wild Card Federal League Playoff slot.