Paullus Staying Aggressive

Paullus has walked just 6 in his last 29.1 innings

CHARLESTON, SC - Now in his second stint in Charleston and deep into the season with the RiverDogs, right-handed pitcher Ben Paullus knew he needed to get serious after a less than stellar 2012 campaign. The former University of Memphis ball player recognized that by adding a new pitch to his arsenal that it would only enhance his chances of success on the mound.

Born in Olive Branch, Mississippi, Paullus was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 19th round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft. The 6-foot-1 pitcher was then sent to Staten Island where he went 1-2, documented a 3.86 ERA and threw 41 strikeouts.

Last season was a completely different story, however, his first year in the long-season leagues. He posted 6.65 ERA with the RiverDogs, in large part to walking 24 batters in a mere 47.1 innings.

Entering Saturday's game Paullus had gone 6-3, tallied 59 strikeouts and posted a 2.31 ERA this season. Most importantly, the 190-pounder has recently implemented a slider into the possible pitches he could throw.

"I experimented with a few pitches in Spring Training," Paullus stated. "I experimented with a splitter and it didn't really work out so now I am throwing a slider and I have had some success with that. Now I am just trying to continue to make it better."

Paullus acknowledged working extremely hard in Tampa during Spring Training, which resulted in major altercations to the way he has approached games at Joe Riley Ballpark this year.

"I have played pretty well, I have made big improvements from this year to last year," he said. "I am really pleased with where I am at and I am just trying to keep it going for the rest of the season.

"I definitely have a better routine this year and I have stuck with it all year. I think that has been a big key for me, finding a routine that works for me and sticking with it."

Working with Paullus for now two years, second-year RiverDogs' pitching coach Danny Borrell agreed with the big changes his pitcher made coming into this season.

"He has done a great job," Borrell explained. "He has made a lot of good adjustments from last year to this year and it is going to help him in the future. Paullus has really been a joy to watch."

Borrell has been working with Paullus on incorporating his new pitch into Paullus' repertoire. Borrell is impressed with the way his pitcher has been throwing his slider and has confidence that he can improve it even more as the season progresses.

"His slider has the potential to be a big league pitch," Borrell commented. "He throws it hard, it is anywhere from 85-89 mph and when he throws 92-95 mph especially with that break that he has, it is going to be a good pitch for him."

"On any given night any of the three [could be his best pitch]. His fastball has been there pretty much all year. Curveball is there and his slider is going to come. But all three of them have been great."

Paullus himself doesn't look at the speeds of his pitches too often but feels them getting better with each performance at the mound, and a big reason for that is not giving the opposing batters too much credit.

"I don't look at it too often," Paullus observed. "Low to mid 90s for my fastball, and then my curveball I would say upper 70s to 80 and slider I really don't know because it is a new pitch so I am not sure.

"I just need to be more consistent with all my pitches. I need to be throwing them for strikes and just mainly staying aggressive, the rest will take care of itself."

Are you a monthly or 3-month subscriber to Why not get two months free AND get 4 issues of our PinstripesPlus Magazine included by becoming an annual subscriber? Upgrade today to get the most out of your subscription.

Become an annual subscriber today! Recommended Stories

Up Next