After missing the rest of the 2013 season due to being handed a 50 game suspension in early August for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal, he is in winter ball working towards regaining the swing that helped him put up some tremendous numbers in the first half with the B- Mets where he batted .326/.403/.547 with 16 home runs and 73 RBIs.
It was a great year cut short, and now he has hopes that he can use the Dominican Winter League to refuel that fire in his swing and prove that the numbers weren’t chemically enhanced.
So far through 10 games in the Dominican Winter League with the Toros, he is hitting .265/.265/.382 with one home run.
It’s far too soon to read anything into his early performance as he shakes off months of rust, and it may take a while to regain the timing that helped become the productive player he was before the suspension.
Puello will need plenty of playing time until he has enough plate appearances and starts to form a reliable evaluation, but I feel that once he becomes more comfortable, he’ll start to be as productive as he was before.
The key for Puello is to put the suspension behind him and focus on making a case for what’s to come in 2014. It would be good to see him start to hit in the DR before heading to spring training in February, not only as a step in the right direction for his own development, but also to enhance and reestablish his status as a top prospect.
Not that playing with the Toros should be any added pressure, but all eyes are on him to see if the pre-suspension numbers are what fans could continue to look forward to.
(Photo Credit: Gordon Donovan)