Prilys Cuello a work in progress

TAMPA, FL-- Cut in the mold of a switch-hitting version of Robinson Cano, Prilys Cuello is an exciting hitting prospect and that he is already drawing comparisons to an All-Star caliber big leaguer speaks volumes to how the Yankees' officials view him. Even with all his offensive upside, however, he finds himself in extended spring training because he still has plenty to work on.

Spring Training is where players get back into the groove of things, and it allows them to improve all aspects of their game and fine tune any issue that may arise. Overall, Prilys Cuello felt that Spring Training went well for him. He was able to improve his overall game, but there are still some question marks concerning his defense. Through a translator, Cuello reflected on his progress.

"I felt better and I worked a lot on my defense. I feel a lot better; I [also] focused on hitting from the right side. I feel more confident, comfortable and more relaxed when I'm out there playing defense. I'm working on everything but [my main focus] is on defense."

Even though he feels he has made great strides in improving his defense, he was still unable to break in with the Charleston Riverdogs. There is some lingering disappointment, but this only motivates him to work even harder to improve upon his mental and physical deficiencies.

"In the beginning, I felt a little disappointed, but I just want to get out here [extended spring training] and get better. I've been basically freshening up on the mental side of the game, my approach and going out there and being relaxed. I feel really good, and I'm ready to go in on whatever team they put me on."

While there is still much work to be done, Cuello has set certain goals this spring, and he feels if he achieves them, he will be ready for whatever challenged is placed ahead of him.

"I just want to focus on my defense and cut down on my errors and not stay here."

While utilizing spring to focus on his defense, he has caught the eye of some Yankee officials with all of his progress. GCL Yankee manger Jody Reed offers some perspective on Cuello's progress.

"Prilys still needs to work on his overall game. There are some things offensively that we're still working on. Also, defensively there are some things that need to be cleaned up. One of the main things is just learning the game. He's young and that's one of the things that takes the longest, just learning the game of baseball.

"Its not just one thing, its just like with any phase, it's your ability to think on your feet. That's one of the hardest things we have with any young player, and, of course, some get it a little quicker and some need a little more time. The bottom line is you got to stay on them, keep them focused, and I haven't seen a guy yet that the light hasn't gone on at some point. He's getting closer, and hopefully, in the future, he'll find that light switch and he'll go. When that comes about, you'll see every phase of his game improve."


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