Mar
22

At long last, Rafael DePaula gets his visa

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Update (6:16pm): Here’s is Ben Badler’s report. He says recent reports still have DePaula running his fastball up into the high-90s. The physical should be a non-issue — he’s been working out at the team’s Dominican complex for the last 14 months or so — and I assume the Yankees will hold him back in Extended Spring Training for a bit before bumping him to Low-A Charleston. DePaula figures to be on a faster track than most international free agent pitchers.

2:33pm: Via Ben-Nicholson Smith, Dominican right-hander Rafael DePaula has finally landed a visa. The soon-to-be 21-year-old was having trouble getting to States because of a suspension stemming from age and identity fraud several years ago. The Yankees agreed to sign him for $500k back in November 2010, though the deal was contingent on him securing a visa. With that taken care of, now all he has to do is pass his physical. DePaula is a significant prospect, arguably top ten in the system, but he lost a big chunk of development time this last year or so. Here’s some video.

  • small sample size

    Praise the lord. Does he go to extended and SI or low A.

    • A.D.

      I think he’s pretty raw, but I could be wrong

  • jay destro

    very cool.

  • JobaWockeeZ

    Very good news.

  • CountryClub

    Kevin Goldstein ? @Kevin_Goldstein
    Pro body, power stuff, big ceiling,unrefined

  • Andy in Sunny Daytona

    This is a huge get for the 13th best minor league system…..it just might keep them in the top 29 next year.

    • small sample size

      Still behind the red sox and the hitting machine that is iglesius.

  • All Praise Be To Mo

    About time. Any scouting report on him?

    • Murderers’ Row Boat

      Plus breaking, plus fastball at mid 90′s. The video sweeps to show he’s got command issues, but he’s 21. Between him and Campos, the Yanks might be stocked with top notch pen prospects for a while.

      • Andy in Sunny Daytona

        Wow! You’re already putting Campos and de Paula in the pen? Nice patience.

        • RetroRob

          Yeah, that’s ridiculous. In three or four seasons, they’ll be no room in the pen as that’s where Banuelos, Betances, Mitchell, Warren, Phelps, Joba, and Hughes will all be, setting up for Mariano.

          • fin

            If you’re not a major league ready starter by the time you get to rookie, in the pen you go.

  • STONE COLD Austin Romine

    Adding another power arm to the system is always welcomed news.

  • A.D.

    At 21 it’s like getting a raw college arm, still plenty of time to develop

  • RetroRob

    Good news for DePaula. Good news for the Yankees.

    The lost time is something he can never get back, but I’m not concerned from a development side. It’ll just delay his arrival, assuming he’s got what he takes, which right now is a big question.

  • joe

    Apparently, he’s been working out at their academy in the Dominican Republic. Not sure how much that’s worth, but it seems he hasn’t been sitting around idly. Hopefully he can slide right in, and move quick.

  • Azzmat

    Next is Panigua !

    • Gonzo

      I thought that ship sailed.

    • RetroRob

      Oh, yeah. I keep confusing these two.

      What’s his story? Didn’t one lie about his age, or did they both lie about their ages?

  • bg90027

    Good news. Goldstein tweeted that he would rank him as the Yankees 9th best prospect which would make him the 4th best pitching prospect behind Banuelos, Betances and Campos. Romine was his 9th best prospect. He graded Campos, Santana, Bichette, Gumbs and Romine as 3 star prospects so I guess that’s what he considers DePaula to be now. I couldn’t find anything on his methodology. Anyone know how he defines a 3 star prospect, other than the obvious better than 2 star but not as good as a 4 star?

    • PlatypusGuy49@yahoo.com

      Not as good as a 5 star either — and better than a 1 star.

  • thenamestsam

    Great news, but I’m seeing bullpen here for a number of reasons. He seems pretty raw for a 21 year old. If he’s going to be a starter it’s going to take some time and considering he’s already a bit behind the development curve, that may start to be a problem. Factor in the fringey breaking ball, and the still developing command and I’m a little dubious. Definitely one to dream on though.

  • Reggie C.

    Won’t rank DePaula ahead of Campos, but DePaula falls into that next notch of SP prospects (Marshall, Phelps). This development is a nice win for the farm. EsT meet DePaula.

  • j

    Not sure why everyone is saying he’s so raw. One of the reasons why he was a top IFA was how refined he was – indeed many people were doubtful of his listed age even before the documents came out because how raw he wasn’t. Maybe the rawness has to do with the time he’s spent away from the game?
    DePaula has been going toe to toe in showcase leagues with Cubans 5+ years his senior, such as Leslie Anderson, Dayan Viciedo, Jose Iglaesias, etc. since he was 17. (Although he asserted he was 15 at the time). And pretty much dominating them. Hes’s the real deal and right behind Banuelos IMO.

    • boogie down

      Agreed.

      This is the last paragraph in Ben Badler’s report (linked above):

      When DePaula signed with the Yankees, BA’s reports had him throwing a plus to plus-plus fastball that regularly reached the mid-90s. More recent reports from sources have had him touching the high-90s, though those have yet to be independently confirmed because scouts from other organizations have not been able to watch him pitch recently. DePaula also has shown a sharp power curveball, feel for a changeup, good size at around 6-foot-2, 200 pounds with long arms, huge hands and a clean, athletic delivery. If the contract does get finalized, it’s not yet known where the Yankees plan to send DePaula, though given his combination of stuff and polish, like [the Cardinals' Carlos] Martinez, he figures to move quickly.

      That doesn’t seem all that raw to me, though he must certainly have work to do.

  • YanksFanInBeantown

    Yes!