When Prospects Go Bad
Of all the ways to lose a top prospects, organizations probably don't rank murder high on the list. Well, maybe the Giants should have given that possibility a little more creedence.
According to the Associated Press, Angel Villalona, a 19-year-old Dominican prospect who was given a $2.1 million signing bonus in 2006, has been charged with murder in connection with the Saturday night shooting death of a man named Mario Felix de Jesus Velete in La Romana, Dominican Republic.
That's right, a prospect that has been ranked as high as No. 3 overall in the Giants' system recently -- and was listed as the organization's top prospect in 2008, when he appeared in the mid-summer Futures Game -- may very well have killed another man in cold blood. Needless to say, whether Villalona is guilty or not, the charge stands to put a serious hold on the first baseman's baseball future.
If he is convicted, Villalona would face up to 20 years in prison, while the Giants are refusing to make any kind of a rash decision on the youngster, saying that they were "Disappointed," to learn that he was a murder suspect, and that they, "rust that the judicial process in the Dominican Republic will resolve the matter promptly and fairly."
The Ugueth Urbina case may come to mind when you hear of a Caribbean or Central American player and torture/murder, but this is clearly a very different case. There is no known motive for de Jesus Velete's death, but Villalona's simple involvement is troubling enough.
Can anyone else remember a similar case/situation with a team's top prospect? Yes, Matt Bush has been in plenty of legal trouble since being drafted No. 1 overall by the Padres, but he hasn't tried to kill anyone, right?
September 22, 2009; 1:10 PM ET
Categories: Giants | Tags: Giants, crime, minor league baseball, minor leagues, murder, prospects
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