Acquired: signed as international free agent in 2011
Service Time: none
Dorssys Paulino entered 2013 as the consensus #3 prospect in the Indians system, behind only Francisco Lindor and Trevor Bauer. In 2012, his first season of professional baseball after coming up from the Dominican Republic, Paulino put up a batting line of .333/.380/.558, which had many speculating he'd eventually move to second or third base, where he could play next to Lindor, instead of being blocked by him. Scouting reports described his "outstanding gap power"and "ability to hit for average." Baseball America named him the "best hitter for average in the Indians system."
Paulino was assigned to Single-A Lake County this spring, where things couldn't have gotten off to much worse start. In 20 games during April, Paulino hit just .208, and after posting 32 extra-base hits in 231 at bats in 2012, he didn't have a single one in 72 at bats during that first month this year. He didn't end up hitting his first home run of 2013 until June 15, in his 57th game of the season. Paulino stole 11 bases (in 13 attempts) in 56 games in 2012, but he was just 5 for 9 in stolen base attempts after late May this year. He's also struggled on defense, making a whopping 36 errors in 116 games at shortstop.
If you're looking for a bright spot in his season, Paulino hit .281/.330/.385 in 24 games during August, winding down his year on a positive note. The bigger silver lining is that Paulino is still incredibly young, and anyone who does what he did at the age of 17 (in 2012) has a lot more slack than one middling season can use up. Paulino will likely return to Lake County (where he was one of the youngest players in 2013) again next season, and it's hard to picture him being ready to arrive in Cleveland any sooner than late 2016, but he's still a prospect to watch.