The facts first:
Cesar Puello hit two more homeruns, a game-tying shot in the sixth inning and a go-ahead blast in the eighth. The 22-year old is now up to .320/.397/.602 in 49 games with 11 doubles, two triples and 12 homers, a new career-high. Up to the second, he’s 7th in the EL in batting average, tied for second in HR, third in stolen bases (15), tops in HBP (10), slugging percentage and HR/AB ratio (1 every 15.08 AB). He’s homered in four straight games while going 10-for-17 (.588) in that span.
Puello has abused lefties at a .449/.500/.939 rate with 6 HR in 49 AB this year while performing at a more pedestrian .273/.360/.477 with 6 HR in 132 AB vs. RHP. He does not walk much (6.4%) but 1. that’s an improvement over last year and 2. his BB+HBP rate is 11.3%.
The reaction second:
Hot damn, that’s impressive. Puello has the physical gifts, and this is fun to watch from afar. I’d still like to see him in AA for a few more weeks to refine his approach and let the league react to his hot streak. That battle of adjustments will be instructive. If he’s still raking in July, there’s no reason he can’t spend a few months in AAA with an eye on Citi Field in September, assuming he can avoid a Biogenesis-related suspension.
Also, what’s gotten into Cory Mazzoni? To answer my own question, I don’t know, but I like it. After striking out 20 batters in his first 25 innings this year, he’s fanned 20 in his last 12.2 on the heels of an 11 strikeout performance Thursday. His line: 6.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 11 K.