Cesar Puello, OF
Bats: R Throws: R
Height: 6’2″ Weight: 195 lb.
2013 MMN Top Prospect Rank: 22
2012 marked a season marred with injuries for the toolsy outfielder with as much raw talent as any Mets player in the system. However, staying healthy has been a problem for Cesar Puello, as he only had 252 at bats while repeating a season at St. Lucie. The tools showed that when he was healthy, hitting nearly 50% of his hits for extra bases, stealing 19 bases in 21 attempts, and still playing enough games in CF to consider him a prospect at that position. Health will dictate where Puello winds up and how much of that raw talent becomes evident statistically.
Puello is easily one of the most talented offensive players in the Mets farm system right now. He has great speed and excellent gap-to-gap power. Whether or not his power develops into home run power has yet to be seen, because it’s generally the last thing to develop for prospects. The most home runs he has hit in a season came in 2010, when he hit ten. He has gone on a tear in Binghamton, and already has five home runs in 31 games this season. To put that into perspective, he only hit four home runs in St. Lucie last year, over a span of 66 games.
I love the kid’s swing. It’s a smooth, short, and compact swing. He throws his hands at the ball and his bat speed generates enough power to be a home run threat in the future. He will continue to work on getting good pitches to hit, and when he does see those pitches, make consistent contact. The 103 strike outs to only 18 walks in 2011 with St. Lucie was an eye sore. In 2012, he returned to St. Lucie, and improved his selection of pitches at the plate. This season, he continues to improve, as he is posting a .320 batting average and .385 OBP with Double-A Binghamton. He is slowly turning himself into a complete hitter, and he has tons of potential.
His splits this season are a bit lopsided. Puello owns lefties. Against left-handed pitchers this season, he is hitting .429 with four home runs. He doesn’t have quite as much success against righties, although his numbers aren’t awful. Against right-handed pitchers this season, he is hitting .276 with only one home run.
Puello is also said to have an excellent work ethic, and doing everything in his power to become a good ball player.
What The Future Holds
As I stated earlier, Puello is one of the most promising offensive prospects in the Mets organization. He was once a highly touted prospect, ranked as high as No. 77 by Baseball America, that had fallen out of favor. He has brought himself back into the picture with his play of late, and he has a deadly combination of speed and power that could definitely translate to 20/20 seasons one day. Look for him to remain with Binghamton for the remainder of 2013, and be a possible call up during the 2014 season for the Mets.
(Photo Credit: Gordon Donovan)