Usually, when someone demands that a team call a prospect up, it is generally because the prospect is ready or almost ready to contribute in a big way to the big league club. This time, however, the reason I am calling for the New York Mets to promote outfiielder Cesar Puello from Double-A, is not because he is necessarily ready to contribute at the big league level.
Don’t get me wrong, Cesar Puello has quite a bit of ability. Just last night he smacked his 11 and 12 home runs of his young season for the Binghamton Mets, the fourth consecutive game in which he has gone yard. Complemented by a .320 average and 15 stolen bases in 18 attempts, Puello may have made the case for a promotion on talent alone.
Still, the main reason the team must promote Puello is to ensure that he is a part of the MLB Players Association. It has been long rumored the Puello has been connected to the firm Biogenesis, the group that is currently under investigation for supplying performance enhancing drugs to players in both the major and minor leagues. Because minor league players have no union to protect them, Puello could be due to be suspended for 100 games, or even more, as he essentially is at the complete mercy of Major League Baseball.
By calling up Puello immediately, the Mets may need to pay him a bit more than they’d like, and his service time clock would begin ticking, but the suspension could severely hurt his development and value to the club. He would be a member of the MLBPA, and if a suspension is given out to him at the big league level, it would likely be limited to 50 games, an obvious improvement.
While the league may not appreciate this action on the Mets’ part, his performance has justified a promotion alone, one could argue. The Miami Marlins organization often promotes hot performers right from Double-A, doing so with Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna and soon, Christian Yelich. Who knows? Perhaps Puello avoids suspension altogether, and becomes a regular in a struggling Mets outfield.