Puello Maturing As A Hitter

BINGHAMTON, NY - Twenthy-two year old right fielder Cesar Puello has been playing some of the most phenomenal baseball of his young career. Not only is he batting .338 this season with power, but he's been absolutely on fire in the month of June, the culmination of finally maturing as a hitter.

Puello attributes his recent success to his ever present faith in Jesus and an impeccable work ethic.

"I've always practiced what Jesus taught, I kept my faith high, and this year was no different," Puello said through the help of a translator. "I'm positive no matter what."

Since aggression is a huge part of Puello's game, he has always been susceptible to injury. However, his recent run of form has been full of intelligence, as well as aggression.

Puello has self-admittedly been tempering his aggression with smarter play so as to lessen the chance of injury on the field as well as at the plate. Hitting coach Luis Natera has remarked on Puello's increased plate discipline.

"Cesar's still aggressive at the plate, but he has progressed in all aspects," Natera said. "Right now he's not afraid to take bottom-line pitches.

"Before he would swing early in the count because he was afraid to get to the breaking ball. Now he's not afraid to go deep in the count."

Taking pitches and going deeper into the count have proved to be greatly beneficial to Puello's game and have clearly contributed to his improved average.

Yet plate discipline alone was not Puello's only concern at bat. Natera and Puello had been working on improving his swing as well as greater pitch recognition.

"I've been working on being the best in the world with my hitting coach, I've been working hard and I'm grateful that he's been helping me out," Puello intoned.

On Puello's change in swing, Natera commented on shifting hand position and the age old adage of ‘keeping two hands on the bat.'

"Cesar used to swing with one hand," Natera began. "He would release the top hand way too early before contact. Right now he's got his hands in a better position to stay on top of the ball a little bit longer and keep his top hand on the bat a little longer, which is helping him a lot."

One of the Puello's biggest hurdles that he's had to overcome at the plate has been his lack of big league pitch recognition. Recently though, Puello seems to have been able to develop a knack for patience. Natera has noted this change.

"Cesar has a lot of confidence at the plate. He looks for his pitch," Natera said. "It's something we try to do with everyone in the organization from top to bottom, look for his pitch and try to put the best swing in every pitch."

Puello has been playing like a man possessed, hitting a ridiculous .481 in his last 13 games with six doubles and seven home runs, and while this run is surely impossible to keep up forever, Natera is positive that Puello has come along as a player as a result.

Puello's maturation over the course of the season has given him the ability to pull of stretches of brilliance and even when he struggles it gives him the strength for a quick recovery.

Natera commented that it's tough to have a whole year like that and at some point he might struggle, but now Puello knows what he's doing at the plate.

"He's got basics, now when he struggles he can go back to basics, the struggle can be shorter; rather than ten games, it could be five games," Natera said.

It's still relatively early in the season but Natera believes that given the year that Puello has had, and the way he's been swinging, he can move up to the next league. However, he knows that the decision is not up to him.

"I hope he continues to play well, I think he's capable of moving up a league. Right now, he just has to continue to play well and the front office will decide when he moves," Natera stated.


Tigs Town Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nPuello attributes his recent success to his ever present faith in Jesus and an impeccable work ethic.
\r\n
\r\n\"I've always practiced what Jesus taught, I kept my faith high, and this year was no different,\" Puello said through the help of a translator. \"I'm positive no matter what.\"
\r\n
\r\nSince aggression is a huge part of Puello's game, he has always been susceptible to injury. However, his recent run of form has been full of intelligence, as well as aggression.
\r\n
\r\nPuello has self-admittedly been tempering his aggression with smarter play so as to lessen the chance of injury on the field as well as at the plate. Hitting coach Luis Natera has remarked on Puello's increased plate discipline.
\r\n
\r\n\"Cesar's still aggressive at the plate, but he has progressed in all aspects,\" Natera said. \"Right now he's not afraid to take bottom-line pitches.
\r\n
\r\n\"Before he would swing early in the count because he was afraid to get to the breaking ball. Now he's not afraid to go deep in the count.\"
\r\n
\r\nTaking pitches and going deeper into the count have proved to be greatly beneficial to Puello's game and have clearly contributed to his improved average.
\r\n
\r\nYet plate discipline alone was not Puello's only concern at bat. Natera and Puello had been working on improving his swing as well as greater pitch recognition.
\r\n
\r\n\"I've been working on being the best in the world with my hitting coach, I've been working hard and I'm grateful that he's been helping me out,\" Puello intoned.
\r\n
\r\nOn Puello's change in swing, Natera commented on shifting hand position and the age old adage of ‘keeping two hands on the bat.'
\r\n
\r\n\"Cesar used to swing with one hand,\" Natera began. \"He would release the top hand way too early before contact. Right now he's got his hands in a better position to stay on top of the ball a little bit longer and keep his top hand on the bat a little longer, which is helping him a lot.\"
\r\n
\r\nOne of the Puello's biggest hurdles that he's had to overcome at the plate has been his lack of big league pitch recognition. Recently though, Puello seems to have been able to develop a knack for patience. Natera has noted this change.
\r\n
\r\n\"Cesar has a lot of confidence at the plate. He looks for his pitch,\" Natera said. \"It's something we try to do with everyone in the organization from top to bottom, look for his pitch and try to put the best swing in every pitch.\"
\r\n
\r\nPuello has been playing like a man possessed, hitting a ridiculous .481 in his last 13 games with six doubles and seven home runs, and while this run is surely impossible to keep up forever, Natera is positive that Puello has come along as a player as a result.
\r\n
\r\nPuello's maturation over the course of the season has given him the ability to pull of stretches of brilliance and even when he struggles it gives him the strength for a quick recovery.
\r\n
\r\nNatera commented that it's tough to have a whole year like that and at some point he might struggle, but now Puello knows what he's doing at the plate.
\r\n
\r\n\"He's got basics, now when he struggles he can go back to basics, the struggle can be shorter; rather than ten games, it could be five games,\" Natera said.
\r\n
\r\nIt's still relatively early in the season but Natera believes that given the year that Puello has had, and the way he's been swinging, he can move up to the next league. However, he knows that the decision is not up to him.
\r\n
\r\n\"I hope he continues to play well, I think he's capable of moving up a league. Right now, he just has to continue to play well and the front office will decide when he moves,\" Natera stated.
\r\n
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