Thursday, January 28, 2010

Dominican I.F.A. Rafael DePaula Back on Market

After being suspended by Major League Baseball for misrepresenting his age, the young, right-handed pitcher Rafael DePaula is once again fielding offers from MLB clubs. Just weeks ago DePaula and his agent considered beginning DePaula's professional career in Japan instead of the United States. However, the relatively minor level of deception that DePaula used (a matter of a few months) has probably allowed the Dominican teenager the opportunity to being his career in the US.

Numerous teams have resumed contacting/scouting DePaula. Both the Yankees and the Red Sox are reportedly interested in signing him. The seventeen year old righty wields a low 90s fastball and a repertoire of breaking pitches that have shown impressive potential. With further maturation and development, many scouts believe that DePaula will become a fire-balling ace, capable of launching mid-to-high 90s fastballs and spinning razor sharp sliders past opposing batters.

While no formal offers have been reported, DePaula should easily command a seven-figure contract. However, his age-misrepresentation offense won't be taken lightly by many clubs--especially those that have been burned in similar (but certainly more severe) cases in the past, and his final contract will definitely max out considerably below what it would have been, had he avoided being caught.

Below is a video of DePaula pitching for scouts while in the Dominican Republic. The video is from Kiley McDaniel of Baseball Prospectus.

Rafael DePaula from Kiley McDaniel on Vimeo.

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