This season, Puello is hitting .330 with a .406 OBO, 13 HR and 36 RBI in 53 games with Double-A Binghamton this season.
According to a recent report from ESPN.com, Puello is among a list of names connected to performance enhancing drugs and Anthony Bosch’s biogenesis clinic in Miami.
The PED story aside, which Sandy Alderson more or less punted on when asked about it in a recent interview with WFAN, Puello is together a breakout campaign this season. The same can be said about Puello's teammate, OF Travis Taijeron. It is still too early to talk of them helping the major league club, but they certainly deserve recognition for a job well done so far.
Puello (left), a 22-year-old outfield prospect from the Dominican Republic, has been pleasantly bopping in Double-A Binghamton. In 52 games he had hit 11 doubles and 13 home runs, which is impressive considering he is one of the younger players in the Eastern League, but also intriguing is the fact that he has stolen 17 bases. Over his last 11 games, he's hit .452/.521/.976 with six home runs, 18 RBI and stolen six bases. That was good enough to have him named the Eastern League Player of the Week. It's that kind of power/speed combination that had scouts projecting a future big league player five years ago.
Meanwhile, Taijeron (right), a 24-year-old outfielder drafted out of Cal Poly Pomona in the 18th round of the 2011 draft. Taijeron handled the younger Florida State League, hitting .303/.396/.564 with 20 doubles and nine home runs in 55 games. He earned a promotion to Double-A late last week, and has responded by going 5-for-9 with a double, two home runs, and six RBI over the weekend. The one thing nobody can take from him is that he has a big league build, standing at 6'2" and 200 lbs.
In Binghamton on Tuesday, Taijeron had a rough night, going 0-5 with four strikeouts.
I have to admit, I like both of these bats. Obviously Puello gets more credit because he is two years younger than Taijeron, and that's the right way to look at it. Puello has a better shot at being legitimate. He should certainly find himself hitting in the desert before long, and could even get a taste of the majors as a September call up. But if Taijeron hits for average and power in the Eastern League, I can envision his stock rising due to the fact that he is now facing guys closer to his age. He still has to prove he can hit the upper levels, but his power seems real. Because he is older, the organization may be more inclined to push him through the upper levels a bit faster.
And yes, I ignored the steroid talk surrounding Puello on purpose because we just don't know what the situation is there yet. He was named, but that's all we know. We can discuss it further when we hear more.