On the same day that they acquired his services, the Giants turned around and dealt 27-year-old catcher Ronny Paulino to the Marlins for righthander Hector Correa. Though the series of transactions produced the net effect of a three-party deal—with Paulino heading to the Marlins, Correa to the Giants and lefty reliever Jack Taschner to the Phillies—the deals were consummated separately.
The Young Player
Though he hasn’t advanced past low Class A in three professional seasons (and has posted an 8.56 ERA in 12 starts there), the lean and projectable Correa (6-foot-3, 165 pounds) is a worthy trade target for the Giants. The 21-year-old attempted to pitch through a shoulder injury last season that cost him not only four months but also a few ticks off his fastball, which peaks at 95 mph and ranges from 90-94. He already shows good feel for a changeup, and his low-80s slider shows good bite at times. A fourth-round pick by the Marlins out of Puerto Rico in 2006, Correa went just 0-1, 7.82 in his five starts last season, but with 11 strikeouts and three walks in 12 2/3 innings. The strikeout total is in line with his 2007 performance, which included 83 whiffs in 58 2/3 innings in the short-season New York-Penn League. He topped the NYP in strikeouts per nine innings (12.73).
Paulino will team with lefty-hitting John Baker to give the Marlins one of the better catching platoons in the game—on the offensive side of things anyway. As chronicled in the previous Paulino trade review, he boasts an impressive track record versus lefthanded pitchers (.355/.417/.498 in 288 plate appearances), while Baker thrived against righties in his rookie season last year (.327/.417/.487 in 175 PA).