No. 5: Red Sox utility-man Eddison Paulino
Eddinson Paulino probably made the biggest waves of any “new” talent in 2022. This was his first season at a full level in the minors, and his stock rose considerably thanks to some incredible numbers.
The left-handed hitter slashed .266/.359/.469 with 35 doubles, 10 triples, and 13 home runs. He drove in 66 runs, scored 96 more, and stole 27 bases as well. Paulino did all of this while appearing at second base, third base, shortstop, left field, and center field.
The 20-year-old was a constant electric factory. He was either making a great play on defense or doing something fun on offense. That could be a diving catch, pimping a monster home run, or stealing second and third in the blink of an eye.
Paulino took the role of Ceddanne Rafaela this year. A prospect in Low-A that not only broke out but positioned himself perfectly for a monster season in High-A next year. He has pretty similar tools too.
Paulino has a good hit tool, and it’s something that could improve rapidly. He flashed some really good power as well. Not just gap power either. Okay, yes, he’s going to hit a ton of doubles and triples. But Paulino can also hit them over the wall, and as he matures could quickly start posting 20-plus home run seasons in the minors.
The speed will help him defensively, as it gives him great range. On the base paths, Paulino will be able to score on hits pretty easily and could continue his 25-plus steal seasons.
Speaking of defense, it’s tough to tell where he’s best at right now. Solid arm, but it isn’t elite, so that might play best at second base. The range is great though, so you could maybe argue that would be wasted at second. Although you still need good range to get to balls up the middle.
Could work out as a utility player, but the Red Sox would likely want to lock down a position for Paulino. Expect to see him at second and in the outfield for the most part next season.
What’s so scary about Eddinson Paulino is that he’s already shown talent in every category, and has the ability to improve in all of them. We could see someone that turns into a high average batter with 20-plus home run power and 30-plus steal speed. Exciting.