As Timothy covered earlier, MLB.com is honoring the top players in each organization’s minor league system for 2013, regardless of their prospect status. I’ll be breaking down some of the choices and highlighting the awarded players over the next few days. I wanted to kick it by talking about none other than Cesar Puello. Here’s his blurb:
Despite missing the final month of the season due to his BioGenesis suspension, Puello’s numbers were good enough to put him among organization and league leaders. The 22-year-old batted .326 while slugging 16 homers and driving in 73 runs, with the latter two numbers representing career highs. Puello also stole 24 bases and posted a .950 OPS for the Mets.
“It was very exciting,” DePodesta said of Puello’s season. “He’s always had the tools. Puello’s always been a guy who’s had as many tools as anyone, a true five-tool talent. We had seen flashes of tools through the year but had never put them together on a consistent basis until this year. Hits for average, hits for power, plays defense, runs, throws. He missed the last 50 games because of his connection to BioGenesis, but when he was on the field, he was a dynamic player.”
I was really happy to see that DePodesta had some nice words say about Cesar Puello, since I think he was shafted on the organizational awards even though he was one of the best players in the entire organization last year. He was absolutely dominating in Double-A, and based on the timing of when the BG Clinic was closed, I wanted to believe that he was doing this on his own merit. Our correspondent in Binghamton, John Bernhardt, vouched for his character as well.
The Mets signed Chris B. Young earlier today — the outfielder, not the pitcher — and I think I’m actually on board with this move if the Mets use him right. See, I’m perfectly fine with him being a placeholder for Cesar Puello — and then relating Young to the bench, where he belongs. Depending on the money involved, he could also work out to be a good gamble for the Mets. Never hurts to have a defensive replacement on the bench who has power in his bat. I’m hoping that we see Puello at some point in 2014, even if it’s all the way in September. Hopefully, he tears up Las Vegas and pushes the envelope.