Height/Weight: 6’2”/195 lbs
Acquired: NDFA (7/2/07)
2009 Rank: 17
Why Ranked Here: This ranking for Puello could be a little light, and you could make a strong argument for him hopping over any of the next five guys in front of him, and I would not tell you that you were wrong. Puello earns this spot because he improved from his GCL season in 2008 to his Appalachian League run in 2009 and showed off tools that impressed scouts. One scout who saw him wrote me that Puello, “can sorta do it all now. He runs plus, he throws plus and has power and should grow into more.” The same scout thought he would slow down as he ages, but was clearly impressed by Puello, whose hands and feel for contact I liked a lot. He now has a chance to be an above average regular in rightfield, a player who will be an asset at the plate, in the field and on the bases.
2009: Puello made a late season charge at hitting.300 by hitting safely in his final seven games in a row and 11 of his final 12 raising his batting average 38 points in the season’s final two weeks, but ended up missing the .300 mark by just one hit. Also, as the season wore on, he became more selective, walking 7 times in August, a BB rate over 6%, which is far better than his ~2% rate early in the season. His impressive .373 OBP was buoyed by 14 HBP. A batter’s ability to induce HBP has been shown to by a repeatable skill, so Puello’s OBP might always be a little stronger than one would otherwise expect given his walk rate.
Dr. Pangloss Says: Above average regular in RF who makes two All-Star games in his career.
Debbie Downer Says: A frequent rider on the Buffalo-Queens express, who never wins a full-time job.
Projected 2010 Start: Savannah
MLB Arrival: 2014 or September 2013
Photo Courtesy Allen Greene of Allen Greene Photography