Robert Puason considered possible breakout prospect for 2022
By David Hill
Robert Puason could not have had a worse debut in the Oakland A’s organization. The highly touted Dominican shortstop completely flopped in his first season in professional ball, leading to his plummet down the prospect rankings. Although it is premature to base anything on one season, it is still a major cause for concern.
That concern does not appear to be universal. MLB.com considers Puason as the prospect in the A’s system that they expect to break out in the coming year which would completely change the narrative around his future.
Can Robert Puason put horrific 2021 season behind him?
Puason was one of two players to earn a bonus of $5 million or more in the 2019-20 international signing period. Considered the second best international prospect behind Jasson Dominguez, Puason was compared to Tony Fernandez due to his frame and line drive swing.
Those comparisons and tools did not translate in his first professional season. He posted a disappointing .215/.282/.291 batting line in his 337 plate appearances, hitting just three homers and 12 doubles. His command of the strike zone was questionable as well, as he 24 walks with 139 strikeouts.
But the tools are still there. He still has that fluid swing from both sides of the plate with raw gap power. even though his defense suffered as well last year, he still has the strong arm and footwork to handle shortstop. It is just a matter of being able to develop those tools more.
Based on his raw skills, prospect pedigree, and potential, it is easy to understand why Puason would warrant such optimism. But some of those struggles mirror those of Lazaro Armenteros, another highly touted international prospect that has yet to pan out despite his tools. The A’s have to hope that Puason does not end up following the same path.
MLB.com is predicting that Robert Puason will be the Oakland A’s breakout prospect in 2022. They certainly hope that prediction comes true.