The San Francisco Giants once saw prospect Angel Villalona as one of the best up-and-comers in the game a few years back, but now can only scratch their heads and wonder what the future lies in store for him.
Villalona's P1 work visa from the U.S. Consulate in Santo Domingo, Dominic Republic has still not been approved because he has been unable to prove his status as an 'elite athlete, keeping him from joining the Giants in Arizona. This is the first time anyone in the Giants organization can remember a player not being granted a visa for this reason. The team said it was a 'conditioning and medical issue' but would not disclose anything further.
"We don't know if this delay is 24 hours or two weeks," team Vice President Bobby Evans said. "We're hoping we can convince them he is in the condition he should be. We're pleased with where he's at on the baseball side, his weight is down from where we started and it's close to what we were targeting. So we're disappointed by the delay. ... We're also hopeful we'll be able to cross this line."
Villalona, 21, was charged with the murder of a man in a bar near his hometown of La Romana during an approved visit to the D.R. while on the disabled list with the San Jose Giants back in 2009. Charges eventually were dropped, and MLB removed Villalona from its restricted list in December of 2011; He was put on the Giants' 40-man roster to protect him in the Rule 5 draft.
Villalona received a $2.1 million bonus way back when as a 16-year-old, a team record at the time.
For more on the Giants head over to McCovey Chronicles.