Prospect Pulse: Cesar Puello Is Putting It All Together

By Mitch Petanick

May 21, 2013 7 Comments

Photo courtesy of MMO contributor Gordon Donovan

Cesar Puello, OF

Player Profile

Bats: R Throws: R
Height: 6’2″ Weight: 195 lb.
Position: Outfield
Age: 22
ETA: 2014
2013 MMN Top Prospect Rank: 22

Background

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.

Analysis

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)

  • Matt Musico

    Great analysis. I hope we can see Puello stay healthy this season so we can see what he do over the course of a full season.

  • Cthomp510

    He would be like a Christmas present that was hidden that suddenly was seen once all the other presents were opened. Other than Nimmo, the Mets lack any real OF prospects. If this guy continues to hit, man would that be great!

  • Hitman

    Mitch, I have to disagree in regards to keeping Puello in AA all season. At best, if he continues to play at this level up until the MiLB All-Star break, promote him to AAA Vegas for the remainder of the year. If he does well there, you have your CF option for 2014 primed & ready from the get go. The rise of Puello & Vaughn saves the Mets from shelling out on the few decent FA’s that will be available this offseason.

  • Mitch Petanick

    Only reason why I think he may stay in Binghamton is because there is a log jam in the OF with Vegas once den Dekker is back.

  • http://metsminors.net/author/teddyk/ Teddy Klein

    Amazing job with this.
    I just wonder if he can improve his eye, take some walks.

  • Hitman

    I don’t think a logjam of AAAA guys like Nieuwenhuis & Hoffmann is gonna prevent Puello from getting his promotion. If anything, when Den Dekker returns, he’ll probably have a cup of coffee in AAA before getting called up.

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