Archive for September 20th, 2009

Giants Prospect Angel Villalona A Murder Suspect

Saturday night, a 25-year-old man named Mario Felix de Jesus Velete was shot to death in the Dominican Republic.  Earlier today, a suspect, 19-year-old Angel Villalona, voluntarily turned himself in to local police.  The fact that Villalona is a person of interest in this case is noteworthy because he is a person of interest to this blog, a top Baseball America prospect (#33 in 2008, #44 in 2009) two years running.

Villalona made his professional debut at the age of 16 with the AZL Giants in 2007 before finishing the season with the short-season Salem-Keizer Volcanoes just after his 17th birthday.  The next year he moved up to the South Atlantic League and hit seventeen homeruns, earning another promotion, to the California League.  He appeared in 74 games for the San Jose Giants this season before his season ended prematurely in July.

According to the AP, “Villalona will appear in court on Monday and could face up to 20 years in prison if found guilty” of the murder.  If this was the United States, I could see some sort of deal being worked out (depending on the circumstances); not knowing anything about the criminal justice system in the Dominican Republic, however, it’s hard to say what sort of punishment Villalona might actually be facing.

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Minor League Players and Pitchers of the Year (So Far)

About one-third of Major League Baseball’s thirty teams have announced minor league players and pitchers of the year for 2009.

Atlanta Braves: Jason Heyward (Myrtle Beach/Mississippi/Gwinnett) and Craig Kimbrel (Rome/Myrtle Beach/Mississippi/Gwinnett)

Baltimore Orioles: Brandon Waring (Frederick/Bowie) and Brian Matusz (Frederick/Bowie)

Boston Red Sox: Ryan Kalish (Salem/Portland) and Casey Kelly (GCL Red Sox/Greenville)

Chicago Cubs: Kyler Burke (Peoria) and Casey Coleman (Tennessee)

Los Angeles Dodgers: Dee Gordon (Great Lakes) and Scott Elbert (Chattanooga/Albuquerque)

Milwaukee Brewers: Logan Schafer (Brevard County/Huntsville) and Amaury Rivas (Brevard County)

New York Mets: Ike Davis (St. Lucie/Binghamton) and Jeurys Familia (Savannah)

Philadelphia Phillies: Michael Taylor (Reading/Lehigh Valley) and Kyle Drabek (Clearwater/Reading)

Seattle Mariners: Alex Liddi (High Desert) and Erasmo Ramirez (VSL Mariners)

Tampa Bay Rays: Desmond Jennings (Montgomery/Durham) and Jeremy Hellickson (Montgomery/Durham)

Washington Nationals: Derek Norris (Hagerstown) and Brad Meyers (Potomac/Harrisburg)

Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies, Detroit Tigers, Florida Marlins, Houston Astros, Kansas City Royals*, Minnesota Twins, New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics, Pittsburgh Pirates, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays

*The Royals announced awards for players at each level, but don’t appear to have named an overall winner.