Posts Tagged ‘Angel Villalona’

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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Players Born In The 1990s? God, I’m Old

Ever since I was a kid, the idea of baseball player birth dates has fascinated me.  I cut my teeth as a fan in the late 1980s and remember the awe of realizing that Ken Griffey, Jr. had been born in November 1969 – that was almost the 1970s!  (It’s a little sad, the things that passed for excitement in my childhood.)  There were guys coming up who were younger than my big sister!  And she was old!

About a decade later, the same feeling came around again, except instead of years of birth in the 1970s, we were starting to see guys born in the 1980s; instead of players younger than my sister, there were players younger than ME.  That’s when I first noted how bad it sucks to get old.

Today I decided to mess around with Baseball-Reference.com and figure out the first player born in every decade of the 20th century.  The list is below: 

1900: John Cavanaugh – July 7, 1919
1910: Joe Cicero – September 20, 1929
1920: Walt Masterson – May 8, 1939
1930: Johnny Antonelli – July 4, 1948
1940: Dave Skaugstad – September 25, 1957
1950: Lloyd Allen – September 1, 1969
1960: Tim Conroy – June 23, 1978
1970: Wilson Alvarez – July 24, 1989
1980: Albert Pujols – April 2, 2001

For now, the first and last players are clearly the worst and the best.  Cavanaugh struck out in his only career at-bat for the Phillies in 1919; Pujols needs only to play two and a half more seasons before work begins on his Hall of Fame plaque.

A 1990 birth date might not be that far off.  At least three players in Class A were born in 1990, including two who made Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospects list, Carlos Triunfel and Angel Villalona.  Triunfel, ranked 62nd, is the shortstop for the High Desert Mavericks, Seattle’s High A affiliate.  33rd ranked Villalona is the first baseman for San Francisco’s Class A affiliate in Augusta. 

The third player, Andy Phillips, is Triunfel’s teammate with the Mavericks.  A native of South Africa, he has only nine at-bats in three games this season.