Finally, after utterly dominating the competition in the South Atlantic League with the Low-A Charleston RiverDogs, Rafael De Paula has been promoted. He will join the High-A Tampa Yankees in a rotation that already includes Shane Greene, Bryan Mitchell, Scottie Allen, Sean Black, and will be replacing the recently promoted Corey Black. Greene and Black may have also been promoted to Double-A, as well.
The Yankees initially stated they wouldn't promote De Paula this season, despite already being 23, in order to let him acclimate to pitching in America, but it was clear he was doing just fine. Fans have been clamoring for him to move up and face better quality hitters so he can prove he is legitimate. Now the fans get what they want.
In his first year of American baseball, De Paula has a 2.94 ERA with a 2.03 FIP, a monstrous 13.43 K/9 and a 3.22 BB/9 in 64.1 innings and 13 starts. His 96 strikeouts currently place fourth in the minor leagues, just two away from the leader, who has actually faced 66 more hitters than De Paula has. He signed a $500,000 contract out of the Dominican Republic back in 2010, but visa issues held him out of the country until 2013. It seems that the Yankees' dedication to him, after years of waiting, has finally paid off.
Charleston reliever Dietrich Enns has also been promoted to High-A Tampa after compiling a 0.81 ERA and a 1.24 FIP, with a 14.01 K/9 and 2.84 BB/9 in 44.1 innings. Of the three earned runs he has allowed this season, only two of them were given up as a reliever. He could have been Charleston's closer, but they seem to be using a closer by committee method. Enns was drafted in the 19th round of the 2012 draft and has already pitched better over more innings than he did last season. This is when we find out if he's for real.
Both De Paula and Enns were promoted before the SAL All-Star Game, so they will be replaced by relievers Alex Smith and Ben Paullus.
Midseason promotions should be ramping up in the next few days, so look for players like Gary Sanchez, Peter O'Brien, and Greg Bird to get moved up a level.