The B-Mets had an unusual collection of guys on the roster. Individually, from a statistical viewpoint very few B-Mets would knock your socks off. But collectively as a unit, their body of work was record setting good. For example, no one is overwhelmed with a Double-A batter who hits below .280. Yet, in the final week of the season, six of the nine regularly starting B-Mets, guys with 150+ at bats were hitting between .261 and .278 and a cluster of batters hitting at those levels make a difference.
Picking a Most Valuable Position player for the B-Mets really comes down to two possibilities; Cesar Puello and Allan Dykstra. Dykstra was the Eastern League’s MVP and was picked as the B-Met Top Position Player by the club’s brass. I outlined Dykstra’s offensive numbers in a recent post, his league leading base-on-balls, onbase- percentage, and slugging percentage numbers. The B-Met first base slugger had an incredible year.
But, as I see it, Cesar Puello as the B-Met’s Most Valuable Position player. Puello was the fuel that made the B-Met engine work. A five tool guy, Puello can do it all. He is a big man with incredible power, a long ball threat every time he steps into the batter’s box. His .326 batting average was the best in the Eastern league. He also recorded the highest sluggling percentage in the EL. When he was suspended, Puello led the BMets in home runs, batting average, slugging percentage, doubles, runs batted in, and steals.
In addition, Puello’s throwing arm is ‘Lagares Like.’ In the Eastern League All-Star game, a Western Division batter lined a base hit to right field with a runner on second base. Puello charged the ball in the outfield. There were two men out and the runner got a great jump so it seemed ludicrous to think Puello had a shot at home plate. In fact, the runner was so certain there could be no play at home he failed to slide into
home. I elbowed the guy sitting next to me, a Boston Red Sox fan now living in Texas who was visiting in the east and came to the game, and told him “Watch This!” Puello launched a rocket throwing out the runner buy a hair with my new friend leaping to his feet in total amazement.
The last reason I would select Puello has to do with Dykstra’s production after Cesar was gone from the lineup. The combination of Puello and Dykstra in the three/four slots was potent and productive. After Puello’s exit, Dykstra realized a slow drain in his batting results, a decline that saw his batting average dip by just over 20 points. A five tool, power hitting, speedster can have that kind of an effect on a lineup. I’m convinced, Cesar Puello can be a New York Met baseball star of the future. A hunger to excel, a Spartan like work ethic, and raw athleticism make Puello the Mets best position prospect in the minor leagues. In fact, when I wrote a post earlier in the year comparing Yasiel Puig’s Double-A statistics before he was called to the majors with the Dodgers with Puello’s numbers in Binghamton, Puello bested the Dodger rookie in almost every batting category. That’s something to think about.
(Photo Credit: Kelly Madden)