DePaula Working To Improve

DePaula is working on his secondary pitches

TAMPA, FL — It has been a long time coming for Dominican right-hander Rafael DePaula. After first being signed by the Yankees back in November of 2010, he is finally at the Yankees complex in Tampa, working to improve his pitches enough to secure him a spot in the big leagues someday.

Rafael DePaula, who had to wait through a long MLB investigation before he could even be paid to play, is considered to be a top prospect in the league.

Together with his coaches, DePaula is taking advantage of Extended Spring Training by working on all aspects of his pitching.

"I am working on my concentration," DePaula said through the assistance of a translator. "I am focusing on my control and just getting my pitches to go where I want them to go."

Coming to the United States has undoubtedly been a big change for DePaula that has taken a great deal of adjustment in his game.

"During the first outing I was a little bit pressured," he said. "After that, I felt more concentrated and tranquil.

"I am now feeling really good. I have more confidence now than when I arrived in the United States."

Pitching coach Carlos Chantres feels very confident with what he has seen from DePaula so far, but does feel there are aspects of his game that need improvement.

"I've seen few strikes basically in the delivery and his pitches," Chantres said. "We have been trying to work on some stuff and he has been adapting to the stuff that we have been teaching him really well.

"Basically, at this level, it's mainly delivery," Chantres said. "You know, there's some pitches, too, but mainly delivery to repeat the delivery every single time he pitches. That's what we have been working on, mostly, in the bullpen."

DePaula's main focus has been on his changeup and curveball.

"The location of my changeup is coming along fine," DePaula said, "And I have been focusing on my control over this pitch.

"I have been working on the high end of my curveball and the low part of my curve," he said. "And I have also been focusing on the middle part of the pitch."

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