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Ranking The Rockies: 9 Ben Paulsen

Jake Shapiro Avatar
December 27, 2015


We at BSN Denver are running a series where we rank how valuable each of the Colorado Rockies’ 51 players was to the team in 2015. Value was calculated by statistics, viewing, and how memorable each player’s contributions were. The rankings will be from last to first, you may view the full rankings (here)

Player: Ben Paulsen

Stats: 116 G, 354 PA, .277 AVG, .326 OBP, .462 SLG, 11 HR, 49 RBI, 97 wRC+, UZR (1B) 1.7, (OF) 0.6, WAR 0.8

Big Moment: Aug 31, the Dbacks are at Coors Field with a 4-1 lead entering the ninth inning. Funky throwing right-handed closer Brad Ziegler was on for the save and the Arizona win. Due up for the Colorado Rockies were Daniel Descalso, Charlie Blackmon and Jose Reyes. After two men reached base Nolan Arenado singled in two runs and due to some luck DJ LeMahieu avoided getting the Rockies last out because of an error. The left-handed hitting Paulsen came on to pinch hit with the bases loaded and two outs. The Dbacks were still holding onto a one-run lead and they decided to turn the ball over to former Rockie and left-handed specialist Matt Reynolds. Paulsen quickly got down 0-2, but then this happened:

The Rockies got some LoDo magic in the form of Paulsen and walked off for a 5-4 win.

Season Recap: The left-handed hitting 28-year old first basemen and outfielder had been a career minor leaguer until a brief stint with the big club in 2014 really put him on the radar of the Rockies brass. His .317 batting average and fine defense at multiple spots gave him an opportunity to stick with the Rockies as depth entering 2015.

He started the year in Triple-A and to be blunt he did not get off to a good start, but a Justin Morneau injury propelled the former third-round pick onto the Rockies 25-man roster. He not only profiled perfectly to make up for Morneau’s absence, he did it. No Paulsen is not perfect, in fact, he’s far from it but he does mash right-handed hitters and offer versatility in the corner outfield spots.

Paulsen showed up in some big moments for the Rockies in 2015, but he also struck out in some as well. The Clemson graduate is not the next Todd Helton and neither is fellow Clemson Tiger Kyle Parker, but one thing Paulsen has done very nicely is his job. He accepts and executes his role and by all accounts, he is a positive for the Rockies on and off the field.

In all honesty, the Rockies couldn’t ask that much more out of a 0.8 fWAR player in 2015 who was typecasted as a system minor leaguer.

What’s Ahead: The signing of Mark Reynolds means Paulsen will once again break that typecast and be joining the Rockies. He and Reynolds will make up a first base platoon with each receiving some playing time in other spots as well. Paulsen’s solid outfield play means the Rockies could keep Reynolds’ bat in the lineup and his if they were both to be hot at the same time.

The best part about Paulsen from Jeff Bridich’s perspective is that he will make the league minimum and he saved the Rockies several million by giving them the opportunity to decline Morneau’s option.

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