Since Puello is on the Mets’ 40 man roster, the games that the Mets will play in September do count towards his suspension, which could allow him to play in the big leagues in the final weekend of the season. But for all intents and purposes, his 2013 season is over.
Puello’s season coming to an end is a major setback for a player who’s had the best season of his career, and who has been one of the best players in the Mets’ farm system this year. Even amidst whispers of his connection to Biogenesis, Puello has torn the cover off the ball for double-A Binghamton this year. For the season, Puello has hit .328/.405/.550 with 16 home runs, 21 doubles, and 73 RBIs.
Since signing with the Mets as an international free agent in 2007, Puello has had one of the highest ceilings in the Mets organization as he is a true five-tool player. Puello’s stock fell considerably over the past two seasons as he struggled getting out of Class-A ball and was held back by injuries, but he re-emerged as one of the Mets’ top prospects this season. Of course, his link to Biogenesis calls into question his sudden resurgence.
However, aside from hitting for a better average and showcasing a lot more power, Puello also started to improve his plate discipline this season as he learned to take more walks, which is obviously something that’s unrelated to PEDs. Even if his power numbers were helped along by PEDs, the progress he’s made in his plate discipline and maturity this season will come to a halt as a result of his suspension.
The Mets have long been searching for home-grown outfielders that can produce in the big leagues, and it looked like Puello was on his way to giving them just that earlier this season. Before getting suspended, Puello appeared to be all but ready for a promotion to triple-A, and likely would have been in line for a September promotion to the big leagues.
With a strong finish to the season, Puello would have come to spring training next year with a chance to make the opening day roster. But now his season is over, and all the progress he’s made is suddenly halted. More importantly, the Mets will have to wait longer before they can see if he might be their right fielder of the future.