CESAR PUELLO, RF
BOOM OR BUST?
Boom or Bust is a feature on our companion site MetsMinors.Net, where we ask our minor league writers to sound off on whether or not they think a particular Mets prospect will be a boom…or a bust.
Puello is an electrifying power hitter with some interesting tools. Puello’s team leading seven home runs and 31 RBI’s (tied with Allan Dykstra) may not be that much of a surprise, but jaw dropping speed and superb base running instincts make him a dangerous base runner. Puello leds the Binghamton Mets in steals with 14. Although Puello’s outfield play is a work in progress, the B-Met rightfielder has a cannon for an arm, the kind of arm that makes throws that come with ooohs and ahhhs from the crowd. Puello’s is a free swinger who needs to work on hitting off-speed pitches. Even so, he is making steady progress and is a decided boom as a Met outfield prospect. Verdict: Boom.
Cesar Puello is an extremely talented prospect. He has an impressive combination of power and speed, and he is also a solid fielder. Prior to this season, many people were concerned about Puello because he failed to produce offensively. However, that has all changed this season. He currently possesses a .295/.379/.506 slash line as a 22 year old in AA. Because of his high upside and terrific performance in AA, I believe he will be a key contributor for the Mets in the near future. Verdict: Boom.
Puello possesses all the tools the Mets’ current major league outfield could really use: a great arm from a corner outfield spot with speed and some right-handed power. There was never a question about his ability, but whether or not he would be able to make the most out of his potential. This season with Binghamton, he’s finally putting everything together, showing the Mets what’s he’s capable of. He’s already out-performed his 2012 numbers with St. Lucie and is well on his way to having his best professional season since joining the Mets. Double-A is meant to separate the men from the boys, and it looks like Puello has turned into a man. Verdict: Boom.
It seemed like Cesar Puello was left for dead after the 2012 season after appearing on many a Top 10 Mets Prospects list. He was a virtual no-show on every prospect list including ours at the start of 2013. What many people forget is that Puello just turned 22 last month and yet here he is in Double-A Binghamton mixing it up with players 3-4 years older than him on average. At 6’2 and 195 pounds he’s built for power, but it wasn’t until this season that he started to show himself to be the slugger many scouts thought he would be. He’s having a solid season overall, but to me the most important number is that .506 slugging percentage given the desperate situation in Flushing. Oh and don’t let his size fool you, this kid can run too and has racked up 95 stolen bases in the last four seasons. Look for him to be a part of the 2014 outfield equation by next season’s All Star Break. Verdict: Boom, Boom, Boom.
It’d be a lot easier to ask me about what I dislike about Cesar Puello than the opposite, because I could take a day and rifle off a nice list of his excellent qualities. I’m confident, however, that everyone else will highlight the reason I and others have championed Puello as a potential 20/20 corner outfielder in the future. Puello is finally hitting the point where his potential is turning into performance and his relatively young age is often forgotten. He was always criticized for his free-swinging ways and his trouble with breaking pitches, and such issues were at risk of being blown out of proportion at AA. With that in mind, Puello’s success in 2013 is that much more impressive. Spring Training ’14 should be really interesting for this kid… Verdict: Boom.
Reiterating what Joe D. said, Puello had fallen out of favor with many who develop the top prospect lists, but Puello will surely be listed as a Top 10 prospect in the Mets organization again when this season is over. At 22 years old, everything seems to be coming together for Puello. He is the perfect combination of speed and power, and there is a very good chance we are looking at the future right fielder of the New York Mets. Some injuries may have put him on the back burner for the past couple of seasons, but Puello is back. Verdict: Boom.