Padres Scouting Report: Paul McAnulty

How much does height play a factor into a person making the Majors? At certain positions it could make all the difference. While some players will buck the trend based on overall talent, it is the player with potential that is hurt by preconceived notions about his eventual ceiling. San Diego Padres prospect Paul McAnulty may be one of those guys, but the story is a little heftier than it seems.

McAnulty was a 12th round pick out of Long Beach State in 2002 and immediately turned heads in the Pioneer League after posting impressive stats. Playing for Idaho Falls he simply hit .379/.488/.604, with 9 HRs and 51 RBIs in 64 games.

McAnulty has historically hit for power. He skipped Eugene and went straight to Fort Wayne in '03. He proceeded to lead the team in hits (127), doubles (27) and RBI's (73), while placing third on the team with a .273 average. He also walked 67 times to put his on base percentage at .370.

Based on his early development, McAnulty should be higher on prospect lists – but there is a caveat.

"Paul McAnulty is a great guy and he works his tail off, but he is only 5'11," says a Padres scout. "And I am not even sure he is 5'11.

"He is a good hitter and I think he will hit no matter what happens to him in his career no matter where he would go, I think he will hit. Next year in Lake Elsinore, playing everyday, he is going to hit a lot."

The scout declined to get into specifics regarding the concern of the organization.

So is height the real problem?

Not exactly. The problem is McAnulty is on the plus side of 220 and his frame can barely handle that load. If he drops weight, he will likely lose power and that is one of the better parts of his game.

Their needs to be balance for McAnulty to progress through the system. He needs to be cognizant of his weight and use the time he has now to develop a program that will turn his frame into a sculpted machine.

Barring that, McAnulty will remain the John Kruk/Mo Vaughn of the Padres system. Both players went to the Majors but were limited to position and eventual injuries.

"It wouldn't surprise me for him to hit 15-18 home runs, somewhere between .300-.325," Wizards broadcaster Terry Byrom said. "He was horrible here for six weeks, but still hit .275. I think he ended up being about 25th in the league in hitting. .275 in the major leagues won't make you bat your eye, .275 in the California League, you certainly don't think about it, but .275 here is a good season."

He has the eye of several scouts and they remain optimistic McAnulty can show he has the goods. Considering his only position will be first base, given his lack of true athleticism, it makes you wonder if McAnulty will make the Majors with the Padres or be forced out.

Denis Savage can be reached at

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