Xavier Paul should be with the major league club (at least) through the end of the regular season. In honor of this and his game-breaking triple in the ninth inning of yesterday's game, here's a dossier:
XP, Window-breaker XP, Xavier "vs. de" Paul, Xavy Paul-onso, Pauly North Shore, PAAAAAWWWWL.
- Xavier Paul was born in Slidell, Louisiana, northeast of New Orleans on the shore of Lake Pontchartrain. For a town of around 27,000, it has a healthy import business in current major leaguers. Logan Morrison and fellow-Francophonically-named Mike Fontenot are also from Slidell.
- He played baseball at Slidell High and was Louisiana's Mr. Baseball for 2003.
- Paul was a member of Junior Team USA and represented the US at the 2003 Pan American Games, on a team that also included Paul Janish.
- He was selected as a prep by the Dodgers in the 4th round of the 2003 MLB June Draft, a few picks behind Michael Bourn, Jonathan Papelbon and the Reds' Kenny "Powers?" Lewis.
- Promising out of the gate, Paul had a productive year as an 18-year-old with the Ogden Raptors (of the Pioneer League), alongside Alejandro de Aza. He repeated high-A in 2006 and made it to AAA Las Vegas in his Age 23 season.
- Debuting at #7 on the Dodgers' BA prospect list in 2003, Paul had dropped off by 2005, though he was still regarded as the best outfield arm in the system (Cody Ross was the system's best defensive outfielder prior to 2005).
- Played in the Arizona Fall League for Peoria in 2007 (on a team that included Cameron Maybin).
- Played in 2007 on the Jacksonville Suns with another former Dodgers' prospect thriving in the Central this year, James McDonald. Played with Eric Milton on the 2009 Albuquerque Isotopes. Played in the majors with Jonathan Broxton in 2009 and '10.
- His MLB debut came on May 7, 2009, as a pinch-hitter. His career stalled out with the Dodgers after his tribute to Paul Janish ended up lasting 3 seasons (.233/.280/.329 in 160 PAs). He was grabbed off waivers by the Pirates at the beginning of the 2011 season.
- Though he was able to swipe some bags with the Pirates, he didn't hit much better than he had out West. He was released after the 2011 season, picked up by the Nationals and then released just 6 months later after playing the first half of the 2012 season at AAA Syracuse.
- In desperate need of both lefties and some depth in the high minors, the Reds signed him to a minor league contract 4 days after he was released. Paul has continued to hit in the International League (Syracuse, Louisville) as he had in the hitter-friendly-PCL, but his 26 games with the Reds (to date) are by far his most successful stint with a major league team.
Drafted/Signed: Drafted '03 (4th Round) by the Dodgers, signed June 11, 2003. Acquired off waivers by Pittsburgh Pirates (April 26, 2011). Released by Pirates, signed as a free agent by Nationals (December 20, 2011). Signed as a Free Agent by the Reds (July 7, 2012). Contract purchased from Louisville by Reds (July 18, 2012).
Option years left: Out of options after 2012
MLB Service time: 2.071
Minor league service time: 7 years
Current Contract Status: First year arbitration-eligible prior to 2013 season
Paul is pretty fast - enough to make him the Reds' 2nd or 3rd best threat on the basepaths. But he hasn't used it much this year in AAA. He can also fire bullets from the outfield, though he takes some awkward reads on flies. His defense is average or better in the corners.
He's probably best described as a platoon player at this point in his career, though as the lefty bat the Reds needed even before Joey went down, Paul has worked out beautifully. There's little doubt his success so far with the Reds has had a lot to do with facing almost exclusively righties. 41 of his 44 PAs with the Reds have been against RHP. Throughout the minors, Paul has performed much better against righties and his OPS is nearly twice as good against righties in the majors.