Sunday in AA: Puello Catches ‘Cats and Homers

AA: Binghamton Mets 7, @ New Hampshire Fisher Cats 2 

TPuello ST Stance (BeGreen90)he B-Mets scored five times in the fifth inning and cruised from there.

RF Cesar Puello was the hitting star, going 3-for-5 with a double and a homer, his eighth of 2013. After 46 games in AA, Puello is up to .302/.382/.521 at age 22. Puello is easily the most pleasant surprise in the Mets’ system so far this year (second best surprise would an interesting debate). He was coming off two years in which he was unimpressive (.259/.313/.397 in 117 games in ’11) and injured (.260/.328/.423 – in 66 games in ’12) in the Florida State League. He’s already two off his career-high of 10 homers set back in 2011 and his .219 isolated slugging percentage would easily be a career high.

I backed hard off of Puello in my pre-season rankings this year, dropping him to #27 (after back-to-back years in the top 10). He walked 2.8% of his plate appearances, a number that has more than doubled to 6.6% thus far (where MLB average is around 8.5%). There’s real progress here in his approach, which has allowed him to turn his strength into more in-game power. The Mets need outfielders (and pitching) but there’s no rush on Puello, who still could become more patient. He could earn his way to Las Vegas with another good month-plus. Already on the Mets’ 40-man roster, a strong finish in Vegas would put him in line for a September look.

RHP Jacob deGrom put together his second solid start in a row: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 HR, 3 BB, 6 K. deGrom has fanned 15 and walked five in his last two outings, which have lowered his ERA 0.74 of a run from a season-high of 5.83 after a rough start on May 21. I absolutely believe in his arm. Even if he’s not a starter in the end, his sinker will get him to the big league bullpen.

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