|Born: September 24, 1989
Height: 6′ 0″
Signed: Int. FA, Florida Marlins, 2007
How Acquired: In trade for Jim Negrych
Birthplace: Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|The Pirates acquired Paulino from the Marlins for secondbaseman Jim Negrych, who asked to be released after being assigned to AA at the end of 2011 spring training. Paulino’s receiving and throwing are very highly regarded. At the time of the trade he’d had low passed ball totals and had thrown out 36% of base stealers in his career. He’s an athletic catcher with good agility, a strong arm and decent speed. His CS% hasn’t been as good with the Pirates, but the team, at least through 2012, did not emphasize holding runners with its minor league pitchers, so it probably hasn’t been Paulino’s fault.
The Marlins assigned Paulino to the GCL for his first pro season, which probably shows they thought well of him. He hit very little in very limited playing time.
Hit well in the New York-Penn League, with some doubles power and borderline plate discipline.
Paulino struggled badly at the plate in low A while playing a little less than half the time. His plate discipline was awful. He did throw out 40% of base stealers.
A little surprisingly, the Pirates assigned Paulino to Bradenton, where he figured to back up Ramon Cabrera. He played only sparingly the first three months, but a 410/477/667 June won him substantially more playing time and he played regularly the rest of the year. He made dramatic improvement in his BB and K numbers. He had no real platoon split. He played well defensively, throwing out 29% of base stealers, as teams ran on him much less than they did Cabrera. At the end of the year he played a few games in left as the Marauders tried to get their best hitters in the lineup.
With Tony Sanchez and Ramon Cabrera both in AA, Paulino returned to Bradenton. Unfortunately, he didn’t do anything to earn a promotion. He struggled early, posting a .647 OPS prior to the All-Star break. He improved to .719 after, but that still fell well short of his 2011 showing. He threw out only 22% of opposing base stealers, but a lot of that was probably the lack of emphasis on holding runners.
Paulino was eligible for the Rule 5 draft but wasn’t selected. Even though he hadn’t played above class A, the Pirates brought him to major league spring training on a non-roster invite, which shows their regard for his defensive play. He spent the season as the starting catcher at Altoona and continued to show his defensive skills, including a 36% caught-stealing rate. He struggled all year at the plate, despite the fact that he makes contact most of the time. The Pirates moved him up to AAA at the end of the season.
Paulino was eligible for the Rule 5 draft again, but wasn’t selected. During the fall, the Pirates traded for Chris Stewart to back up Russell Martin and also signed Nevin Ashley. Due to Stewart’s knee injury and Tony Sanchez opening in the majors, Paulino opened the season at Indianapolis, sharing the position with Ashley. Once Sanchez returned, Paulino headed back to Altoona to back up Elias Diaz. After two games there, though, he got hurt and missed two months. Once he returned, he went to Altoona and backed up first Diaz and then Ramon Cabrera.
Paulino is now eligible for minor league free agency. The Pirates figure to be loaded with upper level catchers, so Paulino might prefer to sign elsewhere.
|2014: Minor League Contract|
|Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2008
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: Eligible
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|October 5, 2007: Signed by the Florida Marlins as an international free agent.
March 30, 2011: Traded by the Florida Marlins to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Jim Negrych.