The Rays acquired 1B Dillon Paulson in a 3 team trade with the Phillies and Dodgers. We lost LHP Jose Alvarado, but our return was a bright, young ex-Dodgers minor leaguer. Paulson was drafted by the Dodgers in the 13th round of the 2018 draft.
I was able to speak with the newly acquired member of the Rays organization. I asked him what his original thoughts were when he heard he had been traded to Tampa Bay. “Florida is far! My life is going to change a lot, but I’m very excited for the fresh slate and great development in the Rays organization”. The California native will definitely have a change of scenery very soon, but some of the changes will be for the better. “California has a lot more restrictions with the pandemic, so it was almost impossible to find a field to practice”, Paulson mentioned. Since the minor league season was cancelled, Dillon worked out at the gym religiously and was able to take swings at weighted balls in his hitting coach’s front yard. He definitely seems to have a great work ethic as he was able to find any possible way to get better during this very difficult time.
I asked him what he believes he will bring to the Rays organization. “I will bring plus defense at 1B, a great eye at the plate, and great work ethic. I’m always pulling for my guys!” I can see why the Rays were high on Paulson. His energy and attitude make for a perfect clubhouse guy and potential leader at the next level.
The last question I asked him was which Rays player he was most excited to possibly meet. His answer came without hesitation. “Definitely Ji-Man Choi! He always looks like he’s having a great time; he’s always smiling and laughing. If I meet Ji-Man, then I know I’ve made it”. It’s official. Ji-Man is the fan favorite!
It was a pleasure to interview Dillon Paulson and I’m thrilled to see what the future has in store for him in the Rays organization.