Papi, Aguilar and Paulino Make the Grade Too
Mike Papi is another guy that just missed my top 10 list (very well may have been my #11), and Katrina had him as her #4 Tribe prospect. Drafted with their Competitive Balance Pick last year, Papi is an advanced college bat that appears to have all the offensive tools to succeed. Comped by some to Nick Swisher, he has a great knack for the walk as he’s posted a 15.8% walk rate in 2014 with the Captains and has a 17.4% walk rate with the Lynchburg Hillcats this season. He also was supposed to bring some power though to this point that’s been lacking. Still, he has a 122 wRC+ this year despite getting off to a horrendous start. There’s still the question of his hitting (only batting .243) and what position he’ll play (tweener OF/1B guy) but he’s a guy that could move rather quickly through the Tribe system (similar to Zimmer).
Jesus Aguilar is a bit of a fan favorite when it comes to Cleveland Indians prospects. He’s a big right-handed hitting 1B who’s been putting up some impressive numbers at Triple-A for two years now. He’s been in back-to-back Triple-A All-Star Games and Home Run Derbies. There’s really not much more for him to prove in the minors. So why is he still there and why was he left off two of the three lists here?
Despite putting up great numbers in the minors there are many that question his bat speed and how his swing will translate to the big leagues. He’s also benefitted from playing in one of the nicest minor league parks to hit in down in Columbus. Lastly, he’s a 1B/DH only, which limits his usefulness at the next level. The Indians have tried him at 3B and OF for a bit in winter ball but his future is at 1B. He’s not bad there but not the most athletic guy. That all said, he’s a guy I wouldn’t mind seeing get a chance while Swisher is still out. Opportunity is there for him to at least DH versus left-handed pitching. He’s running out of options so will be interesting to see how the Tribe handles him the rest of the year.
Dorssys Paulino is a guy that was actually ranked the second best prospect in the Tribe system by Baseball America prior to the 2013 season. Seems kind of crazy that he now is only one of our top 10 lists. However, back then he was a young SS who scouts felt had all the offensive potential in the world. His defensive woes at SS finally caught up to him and the Indians moved him permanently to the OF last season. His offense also stagnated and he spent parts of three seasons with the Captains, which is never something you want to see from a prospect, even one as young as Paulino.
However, that all said, Paulino is still only 20 years old. He was recently promoted to Advanced-A Lynchburg after a very solid first half in Lake County. He still could stand to show more power but the athleticism and potential power/speed combo is something that one can dream on still. He’s young enough that he shouldn’t be written off just yet.
Next: Prospects That Just Missed