Found February 20, 2012 on The Daily Stache:

8. Cesar Puello, Outfield, Bats: R, Throws: R, Age: 20, ETA: 2013

I wish I could have more faith in Puello’s potential as an outfield prospect, but first he has several things to prove to me.

He has to show that he can stick to his roots and focus on hitting for the gaps and getting on base to strictly utilize his speed, and his plate discipline must improve.

When Cesar Puello came into that Mets organization at 17, he appeared relatively patient at the plate and wasn’t afraid to do what he had to do to get on base. He wasn’t ever a walks guy, he kept his average up near .300 for a few years.

He was expected to produce some power numbers, but his ability to run the bases was a breath of fresh air. For his first three years in the minors with the Mets, his seasonal batting average never dropped below .292.

In 109 games in Savannah in 2010, Puello collected 118 hits and stole a whopping 45 bases. With that, he had leadoff man written all over him and almost seemed destined to be atop the Mets order one day.

The Mets rely on the development of potential leadoff batters; they’ll benefit from the youthful speed that Puello can bring to the table.

I’m not saying he won’t ever slide into the leadoff or second spot of the Mets starting lineup, but I’d almost prefer it if he abandoned his power strokes for a contact approach.

In 2011 at Port St. Lucie, Puello discovered the long ball and hit a solid 10 of them, securing himself the “future power hitter” label. However in doing so, he sacrificed valuable points in batting and stole only 19 bases, all while his strikeout numbers increased.

He needs to avoid falling into the trap that many young budding power hitters do and not lose sight of the strike zone and always rely on maximizing his plate presence.

I’m not making his power hitting ability out to be too negative; I would just rather see him turn out to be a top notch leadoff man, something he clearly has the potential for. Suffice it to say, I’m concerned about how he is developing.

With that being said, with time, Puello will have the tools it takes to be a 20-20 guy at the Major League level. In my opinion, if he’s given the green light, he’ll steal 50 bases in a Major League season. The Mets have an intriguing young talent in Puello, and his first stint with the Mets may not be too far off.

10. Matt Den Dekker, Outfield, Bats: L, Throws: L, Age: 24, ETA 2013

9. Jordany Valdespin, Middle Infield, Bats: L, Throws: R, Age: 24, ETA 2012

8. Cesar Puello, Outfield, Bats: R, Throws: R, Age: 20, ETA: 2013









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