Surprising news, but then again, not mind-blowingly surprising.
The AP reports:
Villalona sued the Giants for $5 million in damages, alleging the team kept him on the inactive list even though he had been cleared of homicide charges.
He said in a statement to The Associated Press that he plans to return to baseball and meet all the terms of his contract with the Giants.
He received a $2.1 million bonus when the Giants signed him at age 16 in August 2006. It was the biggest bonus the franchise had ever given to an amateur player.
Pre-2008, Villalona was rated as the #33 best prospect by Baseball America; pre-2009, he was rated #44. Villalona hasn’t played professional baseball in the United States since his 2009 season when he was an 18-year-old in the California League; he hit .267/.306/.397 that year with 9 home runs. Now 21-years-old, Villalona will try to restart his pro career in the States that was derailed by a murder charge in the Dominican Republic. Though, I have no clue how his Visa issues will affect his return — if it ever happens. I assume that getting another Visa for Angel will be a tough situation, and ultimately, he might not be able to return to the United States.
Villalona was highly regarded as the top position prospect in the Giants system before Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval emerged. It’s hard to say what kind of baseball shape he’s in — is round a shape? — and if he’ll ever amount to anything in a Giants uniform.
He’s a career .268/.316/.424 hitter across three minor league seasons. It probably raises a moral question of, “Would I want to root for this guy?” but that’s for another day.