If you ever wondered what happened to former top prospect Angel Villalona, here’s an update.
According to the Associated Press, Villalona has sued the Giants for over $5 million, alleging violation of contract. For those unfamiliar, Villalona was charged with murder in his native Dominican Republic in September of 2009. Charges were eventually dismissed due to lack of evidence after witnesses recanted their testimony.
The suit against the Giants was filed August 8 in the Dominican Republic. Villalona, now 21 years old, seeks $10,400 in lost wages and $5 million in compensation for moral and material damage experienced. The suit also requires the Giants to make a decision on his contract status within five days.
Villalona was given a team record $2.1 million signing bonus when he joined the Giants in 2006 at the age of 16. Highly-regarded for his bat, Baseball America ranked him as the No. 33 prospect in the game prior to the 2008 season and the No.44 prospect in 2009. He is currently practicing in the Dominican Republic in an effort to revive his once promising career.
I hope you don’t have any plans tonight at around 10PM Eastern time, because that’s when we get a pitching matchup for the ages as Max Scherzer will take on Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium. When they meet tonight it will be the first time two pitchers with three or more Cy Young Awards have matched up since 2006. That year, and in 2005 and 2000, Roger Clemens faced Greg Maddux. In 2001 Clemens faced Pedro Martinez.
Kershaw won his hardware in 2011, 2013 and 2014, with an MVP award in 2014 to boot. Scherzer collected trophies in 2013, 2016 and 2017. Each has started the 2018 season in Cy Young form. Kershaw is 1-2, but that record is due to poor run support. He has a 1.73 ERA and has struck out 31 batters and has walked only three in 26 innings. Scherzer is 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA and a whopping 38 strikeouts to only 4 walks in 27 innings.
This will be the third time that Kershaw and Scherzer faced each other if you include the playoffs. The first meeting was a decade ago when both were rookies. They most recently faced off in Game 1 of the 2016 NLDS, way back when Scherzer only had one Cy Young Award to his credit. Kershaw beat Scherzer in that playoff game and the Dodgers beat Scherzer’s teams in the two regular season matchups, with neither guy setting the world on fire. As so often happens in baseball, the hype hasn’t been matched by reality.
Still, there’s always a chance it will. And even if, in the end, this turns into a slugfest, the first couple of innings should at least give us some hope of something good. I’ll be watching.