Paulsen was a player I wasn't familiar with until I got the chance to see him play at last summer's Cape Cod League All-Star Game (he started at first base for the West squad). One word came to mind when I watched him play: Smooth. His left-handed swing looks about as good as any could, with very good balance, extension and excellent swing mechanics. The barrel of his bat stays in the zone a long time, which allows him to make consistent, hard contact. He showed that his power translated well to swinging a wood bat on the Cape by finishing second in home runs (8) and RBI (33), fourth in extra-base hits (18) and fifth in slugging (.497). A disciplined and patient eye allows him to draw his fair amount of walks while waiting for his pitch, although so far in college he also has shown the propensity to strike out quite a bit. Smooth also defines his glove, as he looks like he was born to play first base with soft, quick hands, good footwork and a strong arm for the position. Paulsen's overall numbers don't look that pretty, since he didn't have a particularly good freshman season, but finished that year strong, particularly in conference play, and that success carried over to a successful summer playing for the New England Collegiate Baseball League. His emergence during his sophomore year and last summer lead many to believe he is poised for a huge year during his junior season with Clemson.
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