- Full name Thomas E Pauly
- Born 07/28/1981 in Jacksonville, FL
- Profile Ht.: 6'2" / Wt.: 210 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Princeton
Drafted in the 2nd round (51st overall) by the Cincinnati Reds in 2003 (signed for $660,000).
View Draft ReportWith ex-big leaguer Scott Bradley as coach, Princeton is building a reputation for churning out top-notch pitching prospects. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Pauly is this year's contribution, and a possible sandwich pick or second-rounder. Pauly has a quick, resilient arm and was used mostly as a closer this spring--often working three games on a weekend. Throwing primarily a fastball that ranged from 93-95 mph, he averaged 13.8 strikeouts per nine innings, while going 6-1, 1.25 with six saves. He occasionally mixed in an 83-84 slider. He'll need to develop a changeup if he has aspirations of becoming a starter in pro ball. Pauly threw 83-84 when he enrolled at Princeton. He was a swimmer in high school and has worked hard to fill out his body and get stronger.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Like Richie Gardner, Pauly entered 2005 as one of the system's top pitching prospects and ended it on the mend after shoulder surgery. After his torn labrum was repaired in May, the Reds initially thought he'd be back for instructional league but ultimately shut him down until 2006. Growing up, Pauly was a swimmer who happened to play baseball on the side. As a high school junior, he converted from an outfielder into a sidearm pitcher. That was enough to get him into Princeton, where head coach and former big league catcher Scott Bradley moved his arm slot back up to overhand. He was one of the three main subjects in Jim Collins' 2004 book "The Last Best League," which portrayed Pauly as a very smart but somewhat goofy pitcher with one of the best fastballs in the Cape Cod League. Pauly was primarily a reliever until his junior season at Princeton, but he quickly settled into a starting role with the Reds, leading the high Class A Carolina League in strikeouts in 2004. Before his injury, Pauly featured one of the system's best fastballs, a 91-93 mph heater that had good life. He also had a potentially plus if erratic changeup and a similarly promising slider. The recovery rate from labrum surgeries isn't particularly good, which explains why Cincinnati left Pauly off its 40-man roster after the season.
Pauly drew scouts' attention when he started reaching the low 90s as a sophomore reliever at Princeton, where he was B.J. Szymanski's teammate. He returned to Princeton each of the last two falls to complete his thesis and finish his chemical-engineering degree. He led the high Class A Carolina League in strikeouts in 2004. Pauly's fastball got him drafted and remains his best pitch. It touches 95 mph, sits in the low 90s and has good life down in the zone. Pauly has picked up a nifty, sweeping slider since signing, and it has become an above-average pitch at times. His changeup has shown flashes of brilliance. Pauly still is learning the nuances of starting, from throwing a changeup to using his offspeed stuff to set up his fastball. He's shown aptitude in all areas. The tandem-starter system worked well for Pauly, who gained innings and got acclimated to the rotation. His changeup will determine if he's effective as a starter at higher levels. His next test will come in Double-A.
In high school, Pauly hardly seemed destined for professional baseball. He was a better swimmer than pitcher, and his 82 mph fastball didn't get scouts' attention. Things started to come together for him at Princeton, though he was so frustrated after his collegiate debut he popped a blood vessel in his right hand when he punched a bathroom door. As his velocity soared into the 90s, Pauly developed into a closer and set Princeton's career record for saves. He maintained his 92-94 mph fastball with late sinking action even after moving into the rotation in low Class A, and the Reds plan on developing him as a starter. Pauly's slider can be nasty. He has tinkered with different grips on his changeup, a pitch he'll need to make a successful transition to the rotation. He shows the potential to have three above-average major league offerings, which has Reds officials projecting Pauly as a No. 2 starter. He spent one week in instructional league before returning to Princeton to complete his sociology degree. High Class A is the logical next step in 2004.