Tribe Easily Dreams On Paulino

Indians infielder shows promise with bat





CLEVELAND—Young players like Dorssys Paulino don't come around all that often.
That's why when one does, it can cause quite a stir. Not only within a baseball organization, but across an entire league as well.

Paulino's power bat and polished approach had scouts drooling throughout the Rookie-level Arizona League and short-season New York-Penn League in 2012.

"Most impressive was Dorssys' bat-to-ball power," farm director Ross Atkins said. "For a 17-year-old, he seemingly has a mature approach at the plate for his age. But it's also an instinctive approach and not predetermined takes. He's looking for a pitch that he can drive."

Not one to get swept up in a prospect's potential, Adkins said that so far, the 6-foot, 175-pound free-agent signee in 2011 out of the Dominican Republic appears to be the whole package.

"It's when the subjective lines up with the objective," Adkins said. "So you take a 17-year-old shortstop that looks the part and has the physical tools like the hands and the bat-to-ball, and then measure how it matches up with the objective, or the performance.

"Not only is he performing, but he's doing it at a young age in a league in which he projects to be one of the best prospects. So when what we're reading on paper and what we're hearing from our scouts and coaches, it all lines up. And when there aren't any cracks in it . . ."

Atkins trails off. He does so because truth is, the subjective and objective rarely come together so well, let alone so quickly for such an inexperienced and youthful player.

For Paulino, there's nothing that jumps out to give the Indians' brass big doubts about what he can become. He dominated in the Arizona League before making a smooth transition to short-season Mahoning Valley for the final two weeks.
Paulino finished second the AZL in batting (.355), third in slugging (.610) and OPS (1.015), fourth in triples (six), extra-base hits (26) and runs (42).

WIGWAM WISPS

• Indians first baseman Matt LaPorta had a left hip arthroscopy to have a debridement of the hip joint. Recovery and rehab was expected to take three to four months, meaning LaPorta should be healthy in time for spring training.

• Among the Indians farmhands who became minor league free agents were outfielder Aaron Cunningham, shortstop Gregorio Petit and righthanders Kevin Slowey and Loek Van Mil.