Baseball America on Friday listed the Nine Key Players To Watch In Winter Ball and #8 on their list was Mets Top Prospect Cesar Puello. After missing the rest of the 2013 season due to being handed a 50 game suspension in early August for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal, he is in winter ball working towards regaining the swing that helped him put up the tremendous numbers in the first half with the B- Mets where he batted .326/.403/.547 with 16 home runs and 73 RBIs. It was a great year cut short, and now he has hopes that he can use the Dominican Winter league to refuel that fire in his swing and prove that the numbers weren’t chemically enhanced.
So far through 10 games in the Dominican Winter League with the Toros, he is hitting .265/.265/.382 with one home run. It may be too soon to judge him by his early stats and link them back to what he did in the first half with the B Mets, because more than likely it will take a while to regain the timing that helped him to be as productive as he was. It is only fair to give him a pass until he has enough plate appearances and starts to come out of his funk. Not playing the end of the second half is the only cause for concern as he tears away the cob webs and I feel he will become even more comfortable again and start to be as productive as he has been used to.
The key for Puello is to put the suspension behind him and focus on making a case for whats to come in 2014. It would be good to see him start to hit in DR before heading to spring training in February, not only as a step in the right direction for his development but also to enhance his status as a top prospect. Not that playing with the Toros should be any added pressure, but all eyes are on him to see if the pre-suspension numbers are what fans will be able to look forward to.
(Photo Credit: Gordon Donovan)