Red Sox infield prospect Eddinson Paulino has been named the Carolina League Player of the Week for the week of August 29-September 4, Minor League Baseball announced on Monday.
In Low-A Salem’s last series on the road against the Augusta GreenJackets, Paulino went 8-for-20 (.400) with two doubles, three home runs, 10 RBIs, eight runs scored, two stolen bases, four walks, and three strikeouts over five games. All three of those homers came within a two-game span on Aug. 31 and Sept. 2.
On the 2022 season as a whole, the left-handed hitter is slashing .265/.358/.469 to go along with 34 doubles, 10 triples, 13 home runs, 66 runs driven in, 94 runs scored, 27 stolen bases, 63 walks, and 27 strikeouts across 112 games (531 plate appearances) for Salem.
Among qualified Carolina League hitters, Paulino ranks 24th in walk rate (11.9%), 15th in strikeout rate (19.4%), 15th in swinging-strike rate (11%), 14th in batting average, 18th in on-base percentage, fifth in slugging percentage, sixth in OPS (.828), fifth in isolated power (.204), fourth in line-drive rate (25.6%), sixth in speed score (8.5), and sixth in wRC+ (127), per FanGraphs.
On the other side of the ball, Paulino has proven to be a versatile weapon for Salem this season. After making his 11th start of the season in center field on Sunday, the 5-foot-10, 155 pounder has now logged 98 1/3 innings in center, eight innings in left field, 243 2/3 innings at second base, 275 innings at third base, and 301 innings at shortstop.
Paulino, 20, is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 18 prospect in Boston’s farm system. The Red Sox originally signed the native Dominican for $205,000 as an international free-agent coming out of Santiago in July 2018.
Fast forward a little more than four years, and Paulino is now slated to become Rule 5 eligible for the first time in his career this winter. The Red Sox would need to add Paulino to their 40-man roster by the November deadline in order to protect him from December’s Rule 5 Draft.
In a recent conversation with The Athletic’s Chad Jennings, Boston’s director of player development Brian Abraham noted that these kinds of decisions are tougher to make since international players such as Paulino begin their careers much earlier than other prospects.
“Their clock starts a lot earlier and we’re having these conversations a lot sooner,” Abraham said. “I think you try to look at other players, and you’re always trying to compare where (other) guys were, body type physically, areas that we feel they can improve upon or have improved upon, vs. areas where we feel they might fall short. These decisions are always tough because there’s a limited number of spots.
“But I think, on our side (in player development), we are developing these players like they’re going to be with us for the long haul,” he added. “It’s always a balance in terms of the Rule 5, but some of the stuff with our staff and our coordinators and our (coaches), we’re not necessarily focused on that or worried about that. We’re just trying to get these guys ready for the next level.”
Barring a late-season promotion, Paulino is set to end the year in Salem. If he remains in the organization through the winter, he will likely break camp next spring with High-A Greenville.
(Picture of Eddinson Paulino: Gary Streiffer/Flickr)