Video & Musings: Rafael DePaula

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The Yankees agreed to sign Rafael DePaula for $500k back in November 2010, but the 20-year-old right-hander is still waiting for his visa to be approved so he can come to the U.S. and finalize his contract. He was one of the top arms on the international market back in the day, but was suspended for a year after lying about his age and his identity. Apparently the government doesn’t like to let people into the country after they do that.

As we wait for DePaula to secure a visa, the always resourceful Andy in Sunny Daytona dug up some quality (and recent!) video of the 6-foot-3 right-hander throwing a bullpen at what appears to be the Yankees’ complex in the Dominican Republic. The video above is all fastballs, a pitch that can touch 97 mph according to reports from back when he agreed to his contract. The video below is primarily low-effort breaking balls from in front of the mound. It’s pretty slurvy, looking like a slider one pitch then a curveball the next. It’s still February though, he’s just getting back into the swing of things like everyone else .

DePaula will turn 21 in March according his official documents, so while he’s still very young, he’s also lost a lot of development time over the last few years between the suspension and visa-related hiatus. He’s not allowed to participate in any games because he’s not officially under contract, so he’s just been working out at the team’s complex for the time being. That’s all well and good, but he’s got to get into games and face actual hitters to make real progress in his development. For now, the Yankees and DePaula can’t do anything but continue to wait.

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  • Andy in Sunny Daytona

    FREE* RAFAEL!!!

    I always presumed that the Yankees invited VP Biden to Spring Training last year to, you know, “grease the wheels” on de Paula visa issues. Maybe the Yankees should look to put some former senators on their payroll…..*coughRedSoxcough*

    • Robert

      I am starting to think that the gov’t is trying to limit the amount of foreign players. This along with the case of Angel Villalona makes me think that something else is going on. http://hardballtalk.nbcsports......-get-visa/

      • Andy in Sunny Daytona

        Some overzealous wack-job in the government probably saw “Sugar” and decided that the country is being flooded with “baseball players” coming in and stealing all the carpentry jobs.

        • vin

          lol

        • http://twitter.com/JoeRo23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          ANCHOR PROSPECTS.

        • YankeeGrunt

          It’s not an overzealous whackjob, the government has become a little bit warier about people who lie on visa applications of late. He’s a talented pitcher and we’d like to see him in pinstripes, but if this was a skilled gardener who couldn’t get a visa because he committed identity fraud nobody would care.

      • Manny’s Banwagon

        I don’t think there’s any conspiracy with this guy. Sounds like he killed someone and then paid off the family.

  • Manny’s Banwagon

    What happened to the other Dominican pitcher the Yankees signed around the same time , Paniagua I think?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      His deal was voided due to “falsified documents.”

  • RetroRob

    Is there any guideline based on history and past similar cases on how long this is going to go on?

  • infernoscurse

    i saw a movie based on depaulas visa problem, even if he marries a handsome curly haired furniture designer from Los Angeles they will still noit grant him even a marriage visa until his suspension is lifted by US customs, and just like the end of the movie once the visa is granted the yankees and DePaula will end up in a shower feeling like too much time has passed on

    the movie is Like Crazy BTW

  • jsbrendog

    at least he isnt pitching for another mlb team…

  • http://twitter.com/matt__harris Matt :: Sec110

    whats the deal with the catcher not throwing the ball back to the pitcher? he tosses it to some guy standing there who throws it back to Raffey.

    • http://www.twitter.com/tomzig Tom Zig

      The catcher is Jarrod Saltalamacchia

      • Tom

        I laughed.

        • Mark

          Me too

      • infernoscurse

        its actually mackey sasser

  • nick

    pretty sure he threw some changeups in the above video as well.