Rafael DePaula is finally on the verge of beginning his professional baseball career. The pitching prospect agreed to sign with the Yankees for $500K in November, 2010, but hasn’t had a visa until now, so the deal hasn’t been completed. Agent Charisse Espinosa-Dash told MLBTR today that DePaula has his visa and that the original deal is expected to go through once the Dominican right-hander passes a physical.
MLB suspended DePaula in 2009 and he later confessed to using a false identity. The 6'2" right-hander had a sharp breaking ball and a plus fastball that touched the mid-90s at the time that he signed, according to Baseball America. DePaula, who turns 21 this month, had been working out at the Yankees' Dominican academy.