Paul John Failla
- Bats Both, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 195 lb.
- School University of Notre Dame, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
- High School North Allegheny High School
- Born December 8, 1972 in Pittsburgh, PA USA
Shortstop Paul Failla played four years in the minors.
A football and baseball star in high school, he was named the 1991 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette male high school athlete of the year. He was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the seventh round of the 1991 amateur draft (between Homer Bush and James Mouton) but did not sign, opting for college, where he played quarterback and shortstop in baseball. He hit .346 for Notre Dame in 1993 and was named the All-Midwestern Collegiate Conference shortstop. He was next drafted by the California Angels in the third round of the 1994 amateur draft, signing. He was the 69th pick, taken right before Brian Meadows.
He played four years in the Angels system, reaching as high as High-A. In 1994, he batted only .221/.357/.264 for the Boise Hawks, fielding .923 at SS. The lone positive was drawing 46 walks in 62 games. In '95, the Pittsburgh native hit .253/.347/.333 with 77 runs, 66 walks and 30 steals (but caught 19 times) for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. He fielded .935 with 35 errors at short. He tied Emil Brown for third in the Midwest League in times caught stealing.
In 1996, Failla struggled at .207/.322/.284 for the Lake Elsinore Storm in a hitter-friendly California League. Moving to second base, he led the team in games played there. In his last minor league season, he played every infield spot as well as outfield as a utility man for the Storm. He produced at a .228/.329/.297 clip and went 21-for-31 in steal attempts. He backed up Larry Barnes at 1B, Trent Durrington at 2B and Justin Baughman at 3B.
Overall, he had hit .231/.338/.302 with four home runs, 71 stolen bases (39 times caught), 196 runs and 152 RBI in 385 games as a pro. He fielded .939.
Following his baseball career, he played as a quarterback for the New Jersey Red Dogs of the Arena Football League (1999) and the Chicago Enforcers of the XFL (2001). He signed as a free agent with the 2000 Carolina Panthers in the NFL but did not play for them.