It was one year ago today that Dominican righthander Jose Rafael DePaula agreed to terms for a $500,000 bonus with the Yankees, contingent upon his ability to acquire a visa.
That paperwork hasn't been easy to obtain for DePaula, who missed the entire 2011 season and is still in the process of trying to get his visa, according to Yankees vice president Mark Newman. DePaula is still under contract with the Yankees and has been working out at their Dominican academy.
Scouts have considered DePaula one of the most promising arms in Latin America since he was believed to be eligible to sign three years ago in 2008. At the time, DePaula was presenting himself as Rafael DePaula Figueroa, born April 1, 1992. However, in May 2009, Major League Baseball suspended DePaula for one year for misrepresenting his age. In June 2010, DePaula came forward with a new name and a new date of birth (March 24, 1991) that would make him 20 years old.
At around 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, DePaula had a plus fastball that touched the mid-90s with a sharp breaking ball and a good delivery at the time he signed. He would be one of the Yankees' better pitching prospects if his contract gets approved, but for now, he's still waiting,
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