Right-hander Felix Paulino is number 40 on the Philly Baseball Insider list of the Top 50 Phillies Prospects for 2017.

Felix Paulino is moving well through the Phillies organization, putting up good numbers at each stop. If everything goes right, 2017 could be the first season that Paulino pitches in a full-season league.

The Phillies signed Felix Paulino in April of 2014 and kept him in the Dominican Summer League that season before bringing him to the states for a stint in the Gulf Coast League the following year. In 2016, he moved up another level, pitching for Williamsport, where he went 3-4 with a 2.89 ERA in 13 starts.

Moving a level per season has worked out well for Paulino, who turns 22 in March. He's been able to either improve upon his numbers, or at least keep most of them consistent despite jumping levels, so a move to Lakewood for the 2017 season certainly isn't out of the realm of possibility.

While developing and continuing to work on his mechanics, Paulino has benefited from a jump in velocity. After barely touching 90 with his fastball while in the DSL, he now is throwing closer to mid-90s with his fastball, but generally keeps it around 93. His secondary pitches are developing, but will hopefully become even better than they are now with continued work. That's not to say that he doesn't have weapons other than the fastball, but he needs to develop at least one of his secondary pitches into more than it is now to have continued success.

Paulino's slider leads the class right now, with a sharp break to it. Hitters tend to miss the pitch, because Paulino can start it off high enough so that it looks like a beach ball, but its suddenly drop leaves them coming up with nothing but air.

Paulino also has a change-up that is your garden variety change right now, but has been getting better the more he throws it. Continued development could make it into a decent enough change so that he can use it to keep hitters honest.

In his career, when Paulino has faced minor league players ranked among the top 20 prospects in the minors, the hitters have fared pretty well, going 19-for-67 (.284) with no home runs. Paulino has given the elite hitters six doubles and a triple, but he has also picked up eight strikeouts when facing them.

Felix Paulino 2016 spray chart

Felix Paulino career stats

2014 Phillies 1 6 3.61 13 10 57.1 1.378 10.7 0.2 1.7 7.2 4.18
2015 Phillies 5 4 2.34 11 10 50.0 0.920 7.4 0.5 0.9 8.3 9.20
2016 Williamsport 3 4 2.89 13 13 71.2 1.088 8.0 0.3 1.8 6.8 3.86
All Levels (3 Seasons) 9 14 2.97 37 33 179.0 1.134 8.7 0.3 1.5 7.3 4.87
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/24/2017.

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