The ultimate organizational soldier, Xavier Paul has worked his way to the top rung but can't quite get over the hump. In 2009 he had a great spring, and impressed the brass enough to get the first call when they needed an extra outfielder. Once he got the call injuries and staph infections wiped out the rest of his 2009.
In 2010 Paul again found himself in AAA to start the season, but when Manny had his 1st injury, Paul was called up on April 24th and by the time he left on May 30th, he had posted an OPS of .731 in 64 plate appearances. Most of us would take that from our 2011 group of left fielders. Manny went down again on July 3rd, and Paul again found himself starting in left field. This time however he did not do the job (.466 OPS in 69 plate appearances) so the Dodgers gave Gibbons some at bats and traded for Podboy. Paul found himself back in AAA where a neck injury would end his 2010 season.
If Paul had simply swapped his lousy 69 at bats with his 64 solid at bats, our perception of him right now would be different. I think he's a lot closer to a .700 OPS hitter than a .500 OPS hitter and 69 at bats should not determine his career path.
Last year I said this:
With an arm almost equal to Repko he can also play all three outfield positions, seems to handle the corners well and could handle CF if he had to. With the oncoming onslaught of Trayvon Robinson, Andrew Lambo, Scott Van Slyke, Jerry Sands, and Kyle Russell, Paul has a very limited time to be a Dodger.
but time has now run out on Mr. Paul. He is out of options so unless he can make the 25 man team, his future as a Dodgers looks bleak. The talent behind him looks better but only time will tell if it really is.
Xavier Paul is the only "Xavier" in the history of baseball to be a left handed position player.
No options remain.
|2011 Projections - Age 26 Season|
Paul has nothing left to prove at AAA, he simply needs to prove he can stay healthy. If healthy, I'd rather have Xavier Paul than Jay Gibbons playing left field against right hand pitching. If healthy, I'd rather have Xavier Paul on the bench then Jay Gibbons because Paul can play all three outfield positions, can run, can throw, and is simply a more versatile player then what the one dimensional Jay Gibbons is. However, Gibbons is the one with the major league contract so Ned must not agree. Given Paul's injury history, he is probably right. My own hope is that Paul has a great spring and defies the odds of making the opening day roster.
What is the community projections for Xavier Paul?
Does he remain a Dodger?
If so, give us the usual but add in plate appearances.