Photos by Eric Francis
He’s the very type of talent we want to retain in Omaha: hard-working with a positive attitude, eager to develop. Even so, we find ourselves rooting for Paulo Orlando to get back to Kansas City.
Right now, the Brazilian-born outfielder is suiting up for the Omaha Storm Chasers, a temporary assignment while he fine tunes his swing. If all goes according to plan, it’ll be a speedy return to the Royals’ major league roster. For now, the 31-year-old is focused on Storm Chaser wins and exemplifying the “We Don’t Coast” attitude of his current hometown.
“You just think about being positive every day and doing a good job,” he says.
This isn’t Paulo’s first time in Omaha. He played here during parts of 2011, 2013-14 (when he was part of the Storm Chasers’ back-to-back Triple-A National Championship run) and 2015, the year he was called up to the Royals, became only the third Brazilian-born player in MLB history, and helped his KC team win the World Series.
“It was a big dream come true,” says Paulo who, in addition to Portuguese, has learned to speak both English and Spanish.
Growing up in Brazil, Paulo excelled at all kinds of sports – soccer, basketball, track and field. He was a sprinter for the Brazilian Junior Olympic team. He started playing baseball on the weekends when he was 12 and years later, caught the eye of a Brazilian-based scout for the White Sox.
“I play the sport not just for money but for love,” he says.
Dedicated and determined, Paulo spent more than nine years – and more than 1,000 games – in the minor leagues before he made his MLB debut. The husband and father of two, including a baby boy named Derek (after Derek Jeter), is looking forward to many more years on the diamond and continued impact after that.
“Everything that baseball has given me – I want to give back one day. I want to pass it on to the kids back in Brazil.”
For now, we get to enjoy seeing this top talent right here in Omaha; a player destined to make it back to the majors by suiting up, stepping up and working that much harder – no coasting allowed.