Posted by David Whitman at 10:00 AM
The resolution of the Cesar Puello situation is coming soon. The 23 year old prospect has seen his star rise and fall a few times during his Met career. The final act of which may be just a few days away. I can’t imagine there’s not at least one team who wouldn’t jump at the chance to grab a potential 5 tool guy like Puello with the hopes he’d blossom under their tutelage.
The loss of Puello would not hurt the Mets today, but in future seasons it could-probably around 2017. By that time Cuddyer will be gone and Granderson probably no longer a full-time player. In a perfect world Conforto and Nimmo should be ready by then to flank Lagares but when is the MLB world ever perfect. Kirk and den Dekker will be probably still be around too. By that time Puello may be starring in the outfield of Tampa Bay or worse yet the Phillies or Braves. At the very least he will be the on the short side of an OF platoon, or possibly a full time starter.
That’s looking ahead but let’s return to the present for a minute. The problem with Puello is that you can’t keep him around as a 4th or 5th outfielder because he needs regular playing time. He’s not ready for full time MLB action yet, but could be by mid-season, of course at the point he most likely will be in a another team’s organization. I suppose the loss of Puello became a fait accompli with the signing of Mayberry, if not earlier. Still it’s never a good thing to lose one of the most talented players in the organization.
To see his potential just rewind back to 2013 and the season he was having at Binghamton before the PED suspension. That suspension definitely changed the entire trajectory of Puello’s Met future. Instead of being clearly on the radar as potential future Met star, he sat out the final 50 games of that season and entered 2014 as a murky question mark instead of a solid exclamation point. The team didn’t know if his 2013 success was chemically induced. As for Puello, rusty after the long layoff despite playing winter ball, was probably questioning his success a bit too. Puello’s PED suspension caused the team to look to other options for the future, resulting in the drafting of Conforto, and later the signings of Cuddyer and Mayberry.
The 50 game PED suspension changed the future of Puello and in many ways the Mets outfield too. We’ll find out soon if this is the end of his story with the Mets or if there will be a future chapter. I wouldn’t bet on it though. Unfortunately, in addition to the aforementioned teams picking up Puello, it also seems like the kind of thing the Pinstriped rivals in the Bronx would do.