Roughly a week ago, news broke that the Marlins were trading Logan Morrison to the Seattle Mariners for reliever Carter Capps. While most of the news at the time was focused on Morrison, his successes and failures with the Marlins, and his new team, I feel as if Carter Capps got overlooked as the player to watch in this trade. Capps is young with Major League experience and a fastball that can touch triple-digits. Capps has always had an odd delivery and release point and the Marlins have expressed interest in making a few tweaks here and there. However, it remains to be seen if what the Marlins do with Capps will help him reach his potential. Capps has a bright future as a reliever in the Majors and Marlins fans should be humbly excited that they will now have a must-watch pitcher coming out of their bullpen in 2014.
Carter Capps is a 6'5'' 200 lb. right-handed pitcher that was drafted in the third round of the 2011 amateur draft. Still just 23 years old, Capps broke into the Majors with the Mariners in 2012 and spent almost the entire 2013 season in the Mariners bullpen. Although at first glance his ERA (5.49) and FIP (4.73) aren't impressive, Capps still managed to strike out just over 10 batters per nine innings in his first full season in the Majors. There was a lot of opportunity in the Mariners bullpen last year and while it's a shame Capps wasn't able to capitalize on that, the M's trusted him enough to put him out on the mound 53 times.
Carter Capps throws from a very odd release point and who knows how much the Marlins will try to mess around with that, but I suspect they will make him change in some ways, for better or for worse. Capps throws a deadly fastball in the upper 90's, as well as a slider and changeup, both of which are very average. I don't think the key for Capps to reach his potential will necessarily be the development of his other places, but more his command and learning to locate his fastball.
In 2014, Capps is set to play a pivotal role in the Marlins bullpen. Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill suggested to MLB.com that Capps will pitch meaningful innings in the back of the bullpen for the Fish. If Capps can fix a few hitches in his delivery, while continuing to strike out such a high number of opposing hitters, he could turn into the Marlins' closer of the future. That's what I believe the Marlins are hoping to get out of Capps down the line. Capps has all the potential to be one of the better closers in the game, he just needs to become a smarter pitcher and locate his fastball a little better. While those improvements are much easier said than done, if Capps can improve in both of those areas in the coming season, Miami should be extremely pleased with the results they'll see out of this young power arm.
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