Astros Prospects: Looking at the top five starters in the system
#5: David Paulino
Paulino was the player to be named later in the Jose Veras trade, the trade that keeps on giving, along with top outfielder prospect Danry Vasquez. Both players were signed out of the Dominican Republic at the age 16 and 17 respectively. When drafted, Paulino was a skinny pitcher but has added some weight since then which has allowed him to add some more oomph on the ball as he throws in the mid-nineties.
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He did have Tommy John surgery before the 2014 season, but the Astros were aware of the situation, but he has responded well post surgery. This surgery has set his career back a little with the Astros unable to stretch him out. Last season, he started in the Rookie-level ValleyCats, Low-A River Bandits, and then High-A Jethawks. He struggled a little in Lancaster, but that is understandable with it being a hitter friendly location. Even McCullers struggled there.
Last season, he had a combined record of 5-3/ 2.81 ERA/ 72 strikeouts in 67 1/3 innings. He has had issues with wildness in the past, look for him to be stretched out to 80-90 innings in 2016. The Astros will be careful with this arm because he could be a starter or a hard-throwing reliever. Look for him to make an impact in 2018, his role will be determined by what the Astros decide to do with Collin McHugh.
Next: The #4 Astros Prospect Starting Pitcher