On Friday afternoon I discussed the New York Yankees‘ addition of Dominican RHP Rafael DePaula. The saying “you can never have too much pitching” is especially true when talking about prospects. Needless to say, I was thrilled to find out that Rafael DePaula finally got his visa issues sorted out. I don’t imagine there was even a single New York Yankees fans sitting at his or her computer screaming out in anger when they heard the news either. As I mentioned Friday, Rafael DePaula will come stateside this summer to begin his professional career with the New York Yankees.
I was a little bit vague on some of the more interesting details – stuff, development path, etc. Thankfully, Ben Badler of Baseball America (be sure to check out the DePaula video) is around to help provide this sort of information. In terms of the tools that DePaula possesses, reports have the fastball touching the high-90′s. We have to take that with a small grain of salt though. As Badler mentions, those reports have not been “cross-confirmed” by other organizations. In other words, before scouting reports citing high-90′s heat become credible, opposing (and unbiased) organizations need to put together their own scouting reports. If more and more high-90′s readings start popping up, you’ll know the reports are legit. Either way, we’re still talking about a guy with a big fastball.
Badler also mentions a sharp power curveball and feel for a changeup to go along with a 6’2″ 200 lb frame, long arms and big hands. It appears all of the physical tools are present. Now it’s just a matter of sharpening them and deploying them effectively against progressively tougher competition. Badler suggests that, similar to the St. Louis Cardinals and RHP prospect Carlos Martinez, the New York Yankees could move Rafael DePaula up the organizational ladder quickly. Once again, I can’t wait to see what this kid has.
For more New York Yankees prospect talk, follow me on Twitter @craigmwilliams.