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The season didn’t get out to the best start for Jake Paulson. On April 11th he allowed three earned runs in 3.1 innings, making the start in the second game of a double header. His next two appearances would come out of the bullpen, tossing 1.1 and 2.0 shutout innings. On the 22nd he’d make a second start, also in the second game of a double header. Things went much better this go-around, allowing just one run in 4.0 innings. Six days later he would finish April with 2.0 shutout innings. For the month of April the right hander would post a 2.84 ERA over 12.2 innings to go with one walk and six strikeouts.
May began with two tough outings in the first week for Paulson as he allowed four earned runs in 3.1 combined innings while allowing a home run in each game. He would rebound well over the next week, tossing 4.0 hitless innings with just one walk in two relief appearances. In the third week of the month the former Oakland University pitcher tossed 5.2 innings of 1-run baseball. In the final three appearances he would toss 7.0 innings of 1-run baseball with three walks and four strikeouts. In 17.0 innings of relief over eight appearances he posted a 3.18 ERA with seven walks and 14 strikeouts.
Jake Paulson was charged with two unearned runs in his first appearance of June. The next outing was a struggle as the righty gave up three runs in 3.0 innings. In his next two outings he tossed 3.0 shutout innings with a walk and four strikeouts. Paulson would make two relief appearances, tossing a shutout inning on the 19th and two hitless innings on the 21st. After six days of rest he would make a start against Bowling Green to end the month. He was charged with an unearned run in 3.0 innings while walking three batters with two strikeouts. For the month he would post 1.93 ERA in 14.0 innings with four walks and 12 strikeouts.
July would get out to a rough start as Jake Paulson allowed two runs on two hits in an inning of work. His appearance on July 5th would be his final relief appearance of the season as he’d be charged with two unearned runs in 5.0 innings. The right hander joined the rotation for the Dayton Dragons on July 10th, being charged with an unearned run in 4.2 innings with seven strikeouts. The next two starts didn’t go as well, allowing three runs in each with one last 4.0 innings and the other going for 5.2 innings. The final two starts of the month were strong as he allowed two runs in 6.0 innings on the 26th with four strikeouts and followed that up with 7.0 shutout innings against Lansing with seven strikeouts. For the month Paulson posted a 2.70 ERA in 33.1 innings with just two walks and 31 strikeouts.
August began with a start on the road against Cedar Rapids where the right hander allowed three runs in 6.0 innings with a walk and a strikeout. He would return to Dayton for his next two starts, allowed four earned runs between the two starts that spanned 12.2 innings with just one walk and nine total punch outs. On the 22nd Paulson allowed two runs in 7.0 innings with a walk and eight strikeouts against Great Lakes. That was followed by another 7.0 inning start, allowing just one run with eight strikeouts against Bowling Green. On September 2nd he made the final start of the year against South Bend. It was his longest of the year, allowing a run in 8.0 innings with three strikeouts. Over the final five weeks of the season he posted a 2.43 ERA in 40.2 innings with four walks and 29 strikeouts.
Jake Paulson Scouting Report
Fastball | Paulson works with a sinking 2-seam fastball that works in the low 90’s. The pitch has good late sinking action and some armside run to it.
Curveball | The pitch is his go-to pitch when he’s looking for a strikeout. It’s a shorter breaking ball with 12-6 action. It’s an average offering that can flash slightly above-average every so often.
Jake Paulson is 6′ 7″ and works from a low 3/4 arm angle, but he still works on a downhill plane. That coupled with his strong sinking fastball helped him post a groundball rate of 67% during the 2015 season. He shows very good control of his fastball and solid command of it. His curveball doesn’t show quite the same kind of control, though at times he was able to throw it for strikes within the zone. His third pitch, a change up, is behind his other two offerings and is a below-average offering.
Paulson, despite seeing lots of success as a starter in the second half of the season, projects more as a reliever in the long run. He will be 24-years-old in the 2016 season and could be moved a little quicker as a reliever who pounds the strikezone and gets bundles of groundballs.