- Full name Ronny Leonel Paulino
- Born 04/21/1981 in Santo Domingo Centro, Dominican Republic
- Profile Ht.: 6'3" / Wt.: 250 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Escuela
- Debut 09/25/2005
Organization Prospect Rankings
Paulino went to big league camp with the Royals in 2003 as a major league Rule 5 draft pick, but was returned to the Pirates and then hit a combined .229-7-31 in the mid-minors. He regained his prospect luster with two strong seasons before making his big league debut late in 2005. Paulino is a big guy who's finally starting to realize his power potential, especially since he has learned to use the entire field. He's strong enough to hit the ball out of the park to the opposite field and doesn't have to try to pull everything. Paulino also has a strong arm and threw out 36 percent of basestealers in the minors in 2005. He has greatly improved his rapport with pitchers as his English has gotten better. His swing tends to get long, causing him to strike out in bunches at times. He's also a bit stiff behind the plate and needs to soften his hands. The Pirates have some interesting young catching options in Ryan Doumit and Humberto Cota ahead of Paulino and top prospect Neil Walker coming up behind them. Paulino figures to begin this season in Triple-A.
Paulino couldn't make the Pirates' 40-man roster and wouldn't have appeared on the Pittsburgh prospect list, but the Royals were happy to grab him in the major league Rule 5 draft. He did well when he repeated high Class A in 2002, earning Carolina League all-star honors and driving in the championship-clinching run in the playoffs. Paulino has plus power potential but needs more at-bats to gain better recognition of breaking balls, which give him trouble. Defensively, Paulino is ready to catch and throw in the majors. He has a plus arm and is equally adept at receiving and blocking pitches. He's agile for his size, though there's concern that he'll add more weight and lose some of his flexibility. Royals manager Tony Pena is intrigued by the young catcher's skills and will be available to tutor him on a daily basis. Paulino heads into the season as Brent Mayne's backup, though the Royals might need to carry a third catcher if Paulino can't adjust to major league pitching.
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Defensive Catcher in the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2006
- Rated Best Defensive Catcher in the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2005