De Paula Doing Exactly What He Needs To Do

CHARLESTON, SC - Rafael De Paula of the RiverDogs has sure made his mark on the mound this season in Charleston, and without knowing a single word of English. Luckily Catcher Peter O'Brien is bilingual, and De Paula is closer to his dream than ever before.

There is no doubt that the 6-foot-2, 212-pounder has drawn eyes this season with his pitching. He is focused on preparation and practice to continue his confidence and success in his game.

"I am really focused on my concentration during the game and I am taking it one hit at a time, and I am really comfortable with my preparation and approach right now," DePaula said through the help of a translator.

"I am feeling really good about my fastball and the command of my fastball, as well as my changeup. I think I need to work on my second pitch but mainly I'm using my fastball and changeup. That's what I did in my last outing and it helped me a lot to be ahead of the hitters.

"Velocity-wise I don't feel like there is much of a change, but I'm not so worried about it. I'm more worried about my mechanics and keeping the ball down."

De Paula believes that a lot of his confidence has come from practice and working with the RiverDogs Pitching Coach Danny Borrell.

"I'm working on trying to stay back and keep balance, and I really think that's what makes me feel better every time I go out there.

"My confidence depends on my preparation. If I do the little things to prepare myself each time I go out, I'll have the confidence that once I'm in the game, everything is going to be there for me."

De Paula thinks that he needs more control when he is in the game. At times he knows that he's too fast and that he needs to slow down with his mechanics and rhythm.

"I often remind myself to stay back and take one pitch at a time instead of trying to strike everyone out. My goal is to get out of here as soon as possible and pitch at the next level.Of course I like it here, but I'm ready for the next level. Otherwise, I am leaving everything in God's hands."

RiverDogs pitching coach Danny Borrell is beyond impressed with De Paula and his dedication.

"De Paula getting promoted is not up to me, but he's doing everything he needs to do in my opinion," Borrell said. "He has really good control of his fastball, is spinning the ball well, and his changeup has been really good for him. He goes out and competes every time, and I think he's doing exactly what he needs to do.

"I don't know if he's too much for the South Atlantic League because there's always little things that you can learn, little nuances of the game, and he has done very well. At times he's overpowered lineups, but just the little stuff you can always keep learning. So whenever they think he's ready, he'll move."

Borrell believes that De Paula has been very aggressive this season and will remain so for his future.

"He's got a swing and miss fastball, fills the zone with all three pitches, and he's pretty much everything we look for.

"I see a power arm that could fit anywhere, whether it's in the rotation or bullpen. He has a lot of good tools and a pretty good idea of how to pitch, it's just a matter of him learning how to harness what he has. He'll be really fun to watch."

RiverDogs first-year Manager Al Pedrique is very optimistic and supportive of the pitcher and his success as well.

"In order for De Paula to get promoted he needs to keep pitching the way he is. I think it's only a matter of time, and depending on higher needs at the higher level, I think he needs to improve on his second pitch, his slider and curveball, and they need to be consistent and thrown for a strike.

"His fastball command is outstanding and his changeup is great, he has gotten so much better this season. But now his second pitch needs to be more consistent so his fastball and changeup can work effectively," Pedrique said.

Pedrique does not think that the La Victoria, Dominican Republic native is too much for the South Atlantic League right now despite his recent outstanding success.

"He's still learning. Right now he's having a really good stretch where he's having great games. The key for him is to be consistent and work ahead in the count, even though he has a lot of strikeouts for the most part.

"At the higher level, good hitters will take those pitches and they're going to be balls, so that's why he needs to be more consistent on working down the zone, using both sides of the plate in and out, and working ahead in the count."

Pedrique wants De Paula to understand this season what it takes to compete, and he believes that De Paula is understanding of what it takes to keep his team in the game.

"Once he has control and trust over all his pitches, he's going to be a great pitcher. Overall he's a great kid, very quiet, like all the Latino players when they come to the States.

"He needs to improve on his English in order for him to communicate with his catcher. Right now we are lucky that we have catcher Peter O'Brien who is bilingual, but there will be a time on another team where the catcher won't be.

"He needs to adjust to the culture better so he feels, I would say comfortable, around the park, off the field, and around his fans and teammates.

"He's a very hard worker and little by little he's started to understand that the weight room and extra running are part of his development process. He's showing he's a lot more confident and comfortable this season, and once he is better with his English, he will be just fine."

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\r\n \r\n\r\nThere is no doubt that the 6-foot-2, 212-pounder has drawn eyes this season with his pitching. He is focused on preparation and practice to continue his confidence and success in his game.
\r\n
\r\n\"I am really focused on my concentration during the game and I am taking it one hit at a time, and I am really comfortable with my preparation and approach right now,\" DePaula said through the help of a translator.
\r\n
\r\n\"I am feeling really good about my fastball and the command of my fastball, as well as my changeup. I think I need to work on my second pitch but mainly I'm using my fastball and changeup. That's what I did in my last outing and it helped me a lot to be ahead of the hitters.
\r\n
\r\n\"Velocity-wise I don't feel like there is much of a change, but I'm not so worried about it. I'm more worried about my mechanics and keeping the ball down.\"
\r\n
\r\nDe Paula believes that a lot of his confidence has come from practice and working with the RiverDogs Pitching Coach Danny Borrell.
\r\n
\r\n\"I'm working on trying to stay back and keep balance, and I really think that's what makes me feel better every time I go out there.
\r\n
\r\n\"My confidence depends on my preparation. If I do the little things to prepare myself each time I go out, I'll have the confidence that once I'm in the game, everything is going to be there for me.\"
\r\n
\r\nDe Paula thinks that he needs more control when he is in the game. At times he knows that he's too fast and that he needs to slow down with his mechanics and rhythm.
\r\n
\r\n\"I often remind myself to stay back and take one pitch at a time instead of trying to strike everyone out. My goal is to get out of here as soon as possible and pitch at the next level.Of course I like it here, but I'm ready for the next level. Otherwise, I am leaving everything in God's hands.\"
\r\n
\r\nRiverDogs pitching coach Danny Borrell is beyond impressed with De Paula and his dedication.
\r\n
\r\n\"De Paula getting promoted is not up to me, but he's doing everything he needs to do in my opinion,\" Borrell said. \"He has really good control of his fastball, is spinning the ball well, and his changeup has been really good for him. He goes out and competes every time, and I think he's doing exactly what he needs to do.
\r\n
\r\n\"I don't know if he's too much for the South Atlantic League because there's always little things that you can learn, little nuances of the game, and he has done very well. At times he's overpowered lineups, but just the little stuff you can always keep learning. So whenever they think he's ready, he'll move.\"
\r\n
\r\nBorrell believes that De Paula has been very aggressive this season and will remain so for his future.
\r\n
\r\n\"He's got a swing and miss fastball, fills the zone with all three pitches, and he's pretty much everything we look for.
\r\n
\r\n\"I see a power arm that could fit anywhere, whether it's in the rotation or bullpen. He has a lot of good tools and a pretty good idea of how to pitch, it's just a matter of him learning how to harness what he has. He'll be really fun to watch.\"
\r\n
\r\nRiverDogs first-year Manager Al Pedrique is very optimistic and supportive of the pitcher and his success as well.
\r\n
\r\n\"In order for De Paula to get promoted he needs to keep pitching the way he is. I think it's only a matter of time, and depending on higher needs at the higher level, I think he needs to improve on his second pitch, his slider and curveball, and they need to be consistent and thrown for a strike.
\r\n
\r\n\"His fastball command is outstanding and his changeup is great, he has gotten so much better this season. But now his second pitch needs to be more consistent so his fastball and changeup can work effectively,\" Pedrique said.
\r\n
\r\nPedrique does not think that the La Victoria, Dominican Republic native is too much for the South Atlantic League right now despite his recent outstanding success.
\r\n
\r\n\"He's still learning. Right now he's having a really good stretch where he's having great games. The key for him is to be consistent and work ahead in the count, even though he has a lot of strikeouts for the most part.
\r\n
\r\n\"At the higher level, good hitters will take those pitches and they're going to be balls, so that's why he needs to be more consistent on working down the zone, using both sides of the plate in and out, and working ahead in the count.\"
\r\n
\r\nPedrique wants De Paula to understand this season what it takes to compete, and he believes that De Paula is understanding of what it takes to keep his team in the game.
\r\n
\r\n\"Once he has control and trust over all his pitches, he's going to be a great pitcher. Overall he's a great kid, very quiet, like all the Latino players when they come to the States.
\r\n
\r\n\"He needs to improve on his English in order for him to communicate with his catcher. Right now we are lucky that we have catcher Peter O'Brien who is bilingual, but there will be a time on another team where the catcher won't be.
\r\n
\r\n\"He needs to adjust to the culture better so he feels, I would say comfortable, around the park, off the field, and around his fans and teammates.
\r\n
\r\n\"He's a very hard worker and little by little he's started to understand that the weight room and extra running are part of his development process. He's showing he's a lot more confident and comfortable this season, and once he is better with his English, he will be just fine.\"
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n
\r\n

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\r\n

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