Robert Pauson may not see action in the majors this season, but the talented infielder is about to be tested by the Oakland A’s.
The Oakland A’s made a splash in the last international signing period when they inked Robert Pauson to a contract. Signed to a $5.1 million signing bonus on the first day players were eligible, Pauson commanded the second largest commitment of any of the international prospects.
The A’s are continuing to surprise as it comes to Pauson. The 17 year old infielder has been added to their 60 man roster, an interesting move considering that he has yet to actually play a single game as a professional.
One can easily see why the A’s would be excited about the young shortstop. Considered to be their fourth best prospect by MLB.com, Pauson has a smooth swing from both sides of the plate, consistently putting the barrel on the ball and hitting line drives to all fields. As he matures, it is anticipated that Pauson will hit reach the double digit home run plateau with excellent speed and plenty of doubles.
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However, he has not been tested yet. Pauson spent the rest of 2016 and the fall in the A’s instructional camp in Arizona, receiving guidance in his transition to the professional life. In a perfect world, he would begin his time in one of the short season leagues, moving his way up the ladder towards the majors.
That cannot be the case this year. The minor league season has been canceled, meaning that there are few avenues for teams to develop their prospects. For the A’s, that means throwing Pauson into the fire, putting him against far more advanced competition and seeing how he handles himself.
Obviously, the A’s are not counting on him for this season. But the lessons learned on the A’s taxi squad, and in battling against major league ready talent, will help him down the line. In fact, this inclusion on the 60 man roster could expedite the learning curve, putting Pauson ahead of other prospects that are of a similar age and experience level.
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The sky is seemingly the limit with Robert Pauson. The Oakland A’s are going to get a sense of what the youngster can do, as he is about to be tested.