Angel Villalona, the 21-year old phenom who made headlines when he was arrested on murder charges in 2009, will be in camp when the Giants begin preparing for Cactus League action in Scottsdale, Ariz. next month.
According to Bobby Evans, the Giants’ VP of baseball operations, Villalona is still working on getting his U.S. work visa approved but <a title="San Jose Mercury News: All quiet on Tim Lincecum contract front but Giants say talks with Matt Cain have been "healthy, ongoing"" href="http://blogs.mercurynews.com/extrabaggs/2012/01/11/all-quiet-on-tim-lincecum-contract-front-but-giants-say-talks-with-matt-cain-have-been-healthy-ongoing/" target="_blank">doesn’t anticipate any problems.
Villalona was signed by the Giants for $2.1 million when he was just 16 years old, but fell into trouble in his home land of the Dominican Republic when he was charged with the Sept. 19, 2009 murder of a bar patron in La Romana.
Those charges were dropped when the victim’s family asked the judge to drop the case. (Translation: somebody got bribed.)
Villalona lost over two years of development time because of the legal issues, but the Giants believe he still has the talent to become a major league player someday and placed him on their 40-man roster back in December.