Cesar Puello spent a little bit of time in the big leagues in 2017 with both the Angels and Rays. With the Angels he collected one hit in 4 at-bats before being plucked off waivers by the Tampa Bay Rays, where he saw 35 Plate Appearances and posted a .200/.314/.200 slash line. Since then he’s been swinging away in the minors with the Giants and Diamondbacks at the Triple A level.
2018 saw Puello put up numbers in the minors that range from serviceable to strong. We can’t forget that he is only 26 and is still searching for the same kind of breakthrough that the younger prospects like Lund are in pursuit of. You can’t sell him too short despite his lacking numbers in the Majors back in 2017. Where there’s a will there’s a way and if Puello can translate some of his Triple A ability to the Majors he may have some chance at breaking through. He’s not exactly a beefy hitter despite his Triple slash line of .313/.417/.432. Still, his 11 doubles and 6 HR’s in 358 at-bats isn’t such a bad look.
Puello can balance the walk and strikeout pretty well as he struck out just 67 times to a total 40 walks. That’s a pretty solid ratio there, especially considering that was in 358 at-bats. Still, we do need a larger sample size to pull from to get a better picture of his abilities at the big league level, which is where this Spring Training comes in. I don’t expect to see Puello making waves this Spring, but at the same time you don’t want to count him out. Likely we’ll see him settle in as a depth option stashed away in Triple A, but this is baseball and anything can happen. The best we can hope for is a successful Spring Training for everyone.