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After 16 months, Yankees prospect DePaula finally gets visa

Mar 22, 2012, 6:40 PM EDT

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Right-hander Jose Rafael DePaula, who was originally known as Rafael DePaula Figueroa before coming forward with a new name and age, had his visa approved and is finally expected to travel to the U.S. next week for his Yankees physical.

After serving a one-year suspension for falsifying his identity, DePaula was signed by the Yankees in Nov. 2010, receiving a $500,000 bonus. In the 16 months since, he’s worked out at the Yankees’ academy in the Dominican Republic while attempting to secure a visa.

According to his current documentation, DePaula turns 21 on March 24. Baseball America says he was throwing in the mid-90s when he signed with the Yankees, but it also has sources saying he’s reaching the high-90s with his heater now. If true, he could quickly emerge as one of the team’s best prospects this year.

  1. randygnyc - Mar 22, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    21 year old CHEESE. Welcome,——-, what ever your name is.

  2. doctorfootball - Mar 22, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    Why don’t these kids just come in with no names and let the teams that sign them make one up? Most of these kids don’t use their real names anyway.

  3. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 22, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    Homer Simpson: Hi, I’m Max Power
    Trent Steele: Hey, great name!
    Homer Simpson: Thanks. I got it off a hair dryer.

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