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Mets outfielder Cesar Puello clears waivers, sent to Triple-A

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That's an 80-grade Death Glare
That's an 80-grade Death Glare
Joel Auerbach, Getty Images

New York Mets outfield prospect Cesar Puello has cleared waivers and has been assigned directly to the Triple-A Las Vegas roster. He was out of options so it was necessary to move him off the 40-man roster and give the other 29 teams a chance to claim him. No one did.

Puello is certainly an "interesting" case. He had an excellent 2013 season for Double-A Binghamton, hitting .326/.403/.547 with 24 steals in 91 games. However, that campaign was cut short by a suspension for involvement in the Biogenesis PED scandal. He was much less effective in 2014, playing in Triple-A but with a notable reduction in power despite the environment of the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, leading to this comment in the 2015 Baseball Prospect Book:

The big question for Cesar Puello entering 2014: would he be able to hit advanced pitching legitimately, or was he using Biogenesis as a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural? I’m not sure we have a real answer. Everyone seems down on him and the .252 with .393 SLG was certainly very disappointing for Las Vegas. However, he works counts more effectively than he used to and he did hit better as the season progressed, with a .286/.394/.464 mark in the second half.  He’s still fairly young and the physical tools remain intriguing. Puello likely needs a change of scenery, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see him emerge as a decent role player within the next year or two. Grade C+.

Puello got a decent number of at-bats for the Mets this spring, hitting .250/.357/.250 in 43 plate appearances. There was no power at all: zero extra base hits, but he did show a continued willingness to be more patient, drawing five walks.

He's 24 now and definitely needs a strong campaign to restore his status with the Mets, or at least find another team willing to give him a chance.