Jul
14

Hot .GIF Action: Rafael DePaula

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Right-hander Rafael DePaula has emerged as the Yankees top pitching prospect in his first stateside season, and on Sunday afternoon he threw a scoreless inning for the World Team in the 2013 Futures Game. He struck out the first batter he faced — Twins OF Byron Buxton, the consensus top prospect in all the land — with a 94 mph fastball on the outside corner, as you can see above.

DePaula, 22, allowed a soft line drive single up the middle on a 94 mph fastball to Cardinals 2B Kolten Wong, and he also hit Astros OF George Springer with a 79 mph breaking ball that didn’t break. He threw ten of 16 pitches for strikes, including two swings and misses. He even threw a (not good) changeup. A few more .GIFs after the jump.

Here’s a slider, though it’s not a good one:

And here’s a changeup, which was even worse than that slider:

Here are some more hot DePaula .GIFs from an early-season start with Low-A Charleston.

  • jjyank

    I love the movement on his fastball. Cool stuff.

    Cue that one guy that always shows up to complain about .gifs now.

    • Deathstroke Heathcott

      Fastball seems to have a good plane that’s hard to square up at that velocity. Definitely needs work on the secondary pitches to really become a top of the rotation kinda guy but very promising prospect.

    • BFDeal

      He’s too busy having a seizure.

      • Pablos ham sammich

        He’s too busy having a orgy.

    • forensic

      I don’t mind them too much in general, but they can cause some issues when you’re trying to look at the page on an iPad or phone.

    • Slu

      You called?

  • Ethan

    I don’t know what it is but man, my computer just can’t handle GIFs.

    • Dicka24

      Right click on one, and open it up individually in a new window, or tab, and it should move more smoothly.

      • Ethan

        It does go a bit more smoothly sometimes, other times it’s no better. No clue why as my computer can handle streaming without any issues whatsoever. I don’t think it’s a lack of computing power unless GIFs are incredibly intense on CPUs.

  • Bryan

    Is the changeup bad because it is essentially right down the middle? It seems to have decent movement and is ~10 MPH off his fastball.

    • Furqan

      They are both bad because they are “loopy”. A great slider and change and both supposed to start off as fastballs, and then do their thing (for change it’s just slower and tails off making batter swing early, and slider is supposed to break down late). Both of his pitches simply start with an arc, so you can tell which pitches they are easily.

      • JMK

        Exactly. Thanks, Furqan.

  • SDB

    Meanwhile, who is Brandon Workman, and why is he no-hitting the Oakland A’s? #damnredsox

  • Jacob the OG

    Just got an erection and a new prospect crush

    Welcome to my list Raffy

  • KennyH123

    A great changeup needs to “look” like a fastball out of the hand. It needs the same release point, the same arm speed. It just comes in slower. Movement, fadeaway action, etc. is nice. Especially to lefty hitters. But not the most important thing.
    Obviously, the slider, or curve, or whatever else you throw, should have the same release point and arm action too. Its about fooling the hitter. Velocity is a great weapon, but overrated. If you throw 95 MPH and pin straight, with no secondary pitches, you won’t succeed. If you keep hitters off balance and throw strikes, you’ll be successful. Its not brain surgery though. Greg Maddux was a master, and he didn’t wow anyone with velocity.

  • Wayne

    This guy has potential to be our first great pitching phenom starting pitcher. I urge Hal to preach patience and give Rafael time to develope. At least another 4 seasons but he should be in majors in two years but 4 years to develope.

    • Bryan

      He is already 22….you realize he would be 26 in this case?

      He should be knocking on the door by the end of next year. 2 years tops.

  • Wayne

    This guy has potential to be our first great pitching phenom starting pitcher. I urge Hal to preach patience and give Rafael time to develope. At least another 4 seasons but he should be in majors in two years but 4 years to develope. The hell with mike Stanton.

  • Guesttoo

    First U tell us how great this guy is and then U proceed to knock him down with complaints. If he is “2-4″ years away he isn’t that “great” right now.

  • David

    The last 2 pitches were actualy Sliders, no changeups.

    Get your stuff together RiverAve!

  • David

    Wow you know what? after having a 2nd close look, the 1st one is a changeup (look at the grip), which you called a Slider, and the last one is a Slider (which you called a changeup).

    Either way, I’m not impressed, Slider seemed to have A LOT MORE depth in the GIFs taken a while back when he was in Charleston, he could actually get it under the hands vs LHB’s, I don’t see that same action in these GIFs :(