Height: 6' 2" Weight: 220 lb
Acquired: 2007 International Signing, $400,000 signing bonus, La Romana, Dominican Republic
2014: (AAA) .252/.355/.393, 7 HR, 37 RBI, 13 SB (93%), 30 BB, 72 K
2013: (AA) .326/.403/.547, 16 HR, 73 RBI, 24 SB (77%), 28 BB, 82 K
2012: (A+) .260/.328/.423, 4 HR, 21 RBI, 19 SB (90%), 7 BB, 58 K
2011: (A+) .279/.330/.405, 10 HR, 50 RBI, 19 SB (68%), 18 BB, 103 K
2010: (A) .292/.375/.359, 1 HR, 34 RBI, 45 SB (82%), 32 BB, 82 K
As a former Top 100 prospect, Puello has a number of plus tools that teams would be interested in. He has a pretty strong hit tool that consistently puts the ball in play, but, since he does not take many walks, his batting average can fluctuate due to its dependency on his BABIP. He also has that rare combination of power + speed. his 2013 Binghamton season proved out to team that he has the potential to be a 20 HR/20 SB guy over a full season of healthy play. He's got pretty good defensive skills too. Although he has enough range to stick in CF, he carries a monster strong "70 grade" arm that's more valuable in RF. His above average glovework, range, and arm, makes him a plus defender (potentially plus plus "70"), in RF.
That's 5 average to above average tools folks....A 5-tool player. Here's the thing though, having the tools and utilizing them are 2 completely different stories. After being suspended the remainder of the 2013 for his involvement with Biogenesis, his 2014 season did not help reinforce scouts and executives faith that he will eventually pull the whole package together like he did before his suspension in Binghamton. Puello was the starting RF in 16 of the first 21 Las Vegas games and was just not very good. He hit .244 with 0 HR, 2 SB, and K'd in 24% of his Plate Appearances. This led to him losing playing time to Brandon Allen and Andrew Brown, both of which had monster April, in the month of May. He was given opportunities to start in short 4 to 5 games bursts and found his swing again hitting .291 with a .863 OPS with more BB's (7) than K's (5) but as soon as the club gave him an extended starting run again in June he faltered once again hitting only .137 AVG.
The continued inconsistencies has frustrated the front office enough that he's no longer viewed as a potential future team contributor. It doesn't help either that he has developed extremely stark L/R splits as he obliterated lefties to the tune of a .942 OPS but was lackluster against righties with a .647 OPS. Even his winter league team, the Toros del Este, recognized how severe the splits were and started him mostly only against lefties.
While I personally am a huge supporter of Puello, we need to take this into account when evaluating him. So, unfortunately, we have to drop his ceiling and drop his floor, which in turn, has severely impacted his ranking. While I hate to say it, I do not believe that Puello will make the team out of Spring Training and another club is bound to give him the oppotunity that the Mets are refusing to give.
Ceiling: MLB Platoon Starting RF (John Mayberry Jr.)
Floor: MLB 5th OF....on another team
Anticipated Assignment: Waivers...with another team claiming him April 1st