Pittsburgh Pirates: All Time ”Flash in the Pan” Team
Catcher: Ronny Paulino, 2006
Given the terror that the Cam Bonifay/Dave Littlefield era brought to this ballclub, 2006 was a pretty good year. The record stunk (65-97), but the team had some promising young talent. In 2006, Freddy Sanchez won the NL batting title; Jason Bay made his second consecutive All-Star appearance, and revilers Matt Capps and Mike Gonzalez both showed some serious potential. Then there was Ronny Paulino. A 25-year old from the Dominican, Paulino had a solid rookie season in 2006, hitting .310 with an On-Base Percentage of .360, all the while smacking six dingers and driving in 55 runs. It looked liked Paulino could be on his way to a respectable career, but this is the mid-2000s Pirates we are talking about. In 2007, Paulino’s batting average fell to .263. In 2008, it dropped to .212. In 2009, he played for the Marlins.
Paulino was just another member of the young blood that was supposed to give us fans hope and never developed, and Pittsburgh had to wait seven more years before they saw a winning ball-club. But it wasn’t all bad. Because Paulino flamed out, we got to watch Ryan Doumit go on the Disabled List for staring at the sun a second too long as well as get stolen on by literally every single base-runner in the National League.