Say What: Carlos Paulino Jumping Ahead Of Not Just Tony Sanchez, But Michael McKenry?
By Tom Smith
We saw this yesterday in Tom Singer’s blog, but didn’t think much of it :
"Carlos Paulino: Wasn’t even in Kissimmee. But the Bucs love his arm. Just how deep that love is was hinted by the reassignment to Minor League camp of Tony Sanchez. Paulino will get some more looks to determine whether he might rank as the top midseason callup candidate."
But then after the Bucs fell to the Twins by a 2-1 score, we saw this and really started to scratch our head:
"Carlos Paulino: Had no chance tio throw out the runner on a pitch that had gotten away from him — and still almost did. McKenry has to hold down The Fort, or Paulino could sneak ahead of him on the depth chart."
The Bucs picked up Paulino from the Miami Marlins in exchange for Jim Negrych after 2011 spring training. Negrych had asked to be released after being assigned to Double-A Altoona.
Paulino is a good defensive catcher, you’ve seen his arm ranked as one of the best in the minors by FanGraphs.
There are some things to like about the six foot, 170 pounder–he has a very athletic build for a backstop, he has some speed, and a cannon for an arm which helped him throw out 40% of would be base stealers in 2010. He struggled badly in low A with horrid plate discipline and received little playing time but seemed to break out in 2011.
A year later Paulino turned it around at the plate and threw out 29 percent of runners. But in 2012 Paulino fell apart with poor offensive numbers and just 22 percent caught stealing.
We watched Paulino in spring training this year and his arm certainly jumps out, it is absolutely a cannon, but there are so many other things that are just not impressive to us. Well…. not enough to see him playing in the bigs this year.
With Ramon Cabrera being moved in the offseason, Paulino has some more room for growth, but to think he will bounce Michael McKenry from the backup catcher spot is a huge stretch–as much as I would like to see The Fort moving along to his lifes work, we don’t see Paulino as the guy pushing McKenry out the door.