Luis Rafael DePaula Valenzuela
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 160 lb.
- Born December 11, 1982 in Yamasá, Monte Plata D.R.
- Died March 8, 2014 in Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional, D.R.
Luis DePaula played five seasons in the minor leagues.
DePaula debuted in 2000 with the Princeton Devil Rays, hitting .293/.328/.362 and fielding .913 at shortstop. In '01, he played for the Hudson Valley Renegades and his batting line fell to .234/.282/.383 while he fielded .953 at short. He led the New York-Penn League with 303 at-bats while pacing the loop's shortstops with 210 assists.
In 2002, DePaula produced at a .232/.269/.313 rate with the Charleston RiverDogs and took a turn for the worse with the glove; he made 39 errors, leading all South Atlantic League shortstops. Luis batted .258/.301/.327 for the 2003 Bakersfield Blaze then improved to .293/.348/.382 in repeating the stop in 2004. He stole 30 bases in 42 tries, more swipes than in all his prior seasons combined. He turned 66 double plays at second base, his new primary spot, and led the California League in twin killings at the position. He was deported from the US after being accused of fraud in an arranged marriage.
DePaula played for the Dominican Republic national team in the 2006 Central American and Caribbean Games, going 7 for 24 with two walks. In the 2006 COPABE Olympic Qualifiers, he batted .409/.480/.733 with 9 RBI in 7 games and played error-free ball at shortstop to lead the Dominican squad. He finished 9th in the event in average and among the leaders in RBI.
The Yamasa native went 0 for 5 with two walks, a run and 3 strikeouts in the 2007 Pan American Games.
He battled schizophrenia and head injuries related from being hit by a baseball, and spent time in prison. He died of hepatitis and anemia while his family said he was beaten in prison.
Sources include Listin Diario article