In his first season pitching in the United States, Rafael DePaula has found all the success that the Yankees had to have been hoping he would when they waited for him to get his visa issues sorted out in the Dominican Republic. With 83 strikeouts in 54.1 innings this season, DePaula leads all of Minor League Baseball. His 2.48 ERA is good enough for tenth best in the South Atlantic League so far this year. To reward the immense success he has had for the RiverDogs so far in 2013, he has earned the right to start the South Atlantic League All-Star Game on June 18th. It's a nice accolade for a guy who has just started his professional career in America, and has had to endure a pretty bumpy ride to make it here.
DePaula is likely due for a promotion, as he hasn't really found much competition against Sally Leaguers so far in 2013. The mid-point of the minor league season tends to bring promotions at every level, so it wouldn't be surprising to see DePaula moved up to High-A Tampa by the end of the month. If he can keep his success going against slightly more polished hitters, he should find himself moving up every Yankees prospect list before next season.
Also joining DePaula on the roster are his teammates Dietrich Enns and Peter O'Brien. Enns has been lights out in the Charleston bullpen this season, having given up only two earned runs (which only came in a spot start) in 32.1 innings while racking up 54 strikeouts. O'Brien leads the team with a .316 batting average and seven home runs this season. He's a work in progress behind the plate, but his hitting has been fantastic all season. The Yankees are going to need to promote their catching prospects at some point, and when they do, O'Brien will almost certainly be on his way up to Tampa.