Blue Jays: Keep your eyes peeled for David Paulino in 2019

Brendan Panikkar
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 6: David Paulino #22 of the Toronto Blue Jays makes a throwing error to first base as he fields a soft grounder in the eighth inning during MLB game action against the Cleveland Indians at Rogers Centre on September 6, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 6: David Paulino #22 of the Toronto Blue Jays makes a throwing error to first base as he fields a soft grounder in the eighth inning during MLB game action against the Cleveland Indians at Rogers Centre on September 6, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
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Fans of the Toronto Blue Jays should keep their eyes open in 2019 for David Paulino, who could breakout in the bullpen this year.

The Toronto Blue Jays haven’t done much of anything to add to their bullpen, as pitchers and catchers report in exactly one day. That is likely because of the large collection of young-ish arms the Blue Jays have accumulated that are on the cusp of the bigs. One of those arms is David Paulino, and Blue Jays fans should be stoked for his potential in 2019 and beyond.

Paulino was one of the electric arms that came to the Blue Jays from the Houston Astros in the trade for Roberto Osuna, and Ken Giles and Hector Perez were also acquired in this deal. Paulino has had a small cup of coffee in the big leagues with both the Blue Jays and Astros, with Houston using him primarily as a starter. Paulino has primarily been a starter throughout his minor league career, but he could be a fantastic bullpen arm.

In three appearances totalling just 7.0 innings in 2016, Paulino’s ERA was 5.14 with a FIP of 4.29, which is a small sample size. In a slightly larger sample of six starts and 29.0 innings in 2017, Paulino fared worse with a 6.52 ERA and 5.12 FIP. He has struggled keeping the ball in the ballpark as a starter, but Paulino does have a very live arm.

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The Blue Jays used Paulino strictly as a reliever as a September call up where he got in 6.2. innings of work. In the very limited sample size, he posted a good looking 1.35 ERA, but a 4.21 FIP. So, what does Paulino feature in his arsenal?

  • Fastball – 93.1 MPH, 15.0% Whiff
  • Changeup – 84.0 MPH, 33.3% Whiff
  • Slider – 81.4 MPH, 0.0% Whiff
  • Curveball – 76.9 MPH, 33.3% Whiff

Keep in mind, the whiff percentage for each pitch is off of very small sample size, so nothing should really be made from that. But he does bring good velocity on his fastball, and good velocity separation the pitch and his changeup.

Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA projections for 2019 are very favourable for Paulino if he is able to stay healthy. He’s projected at 60.0 innings, 3.45 ERA, 3.74 DRA (deserved run average), and 64 strikeouts. Paulino’s WARP of 1.0 would make him the most valuable relievers in the Blue Jays bullpen. All four projections on Paulino’s Fangraphs page project him to have a decent season as well.

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If David Paulino has a good spring he should be close to being a lock for the Blue Jays bullpen. He is listed in the Blue Jays bullpen on the depth chart, and fans should definitely expect good things from him if he stays healthy.

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