Jesse Sanchez, a reporter for MLB.com, is one of the leading authorities when it comes to MLB international signings and prospects. On Wednesday, he released the highly anticipated report on the 2019-2020 international amateur free agent class, identifying the Top 30 prospects and where they are expected to sign. Sanchez includes the Marlins among a handful of teams who will be most “aggressive” when the signing period begins July 2.
Specifically, the Fish are favorites for both Venezuelan shortstop José Salas and Dominican shortstop Junior Sánchez (no relation to the reporter).
The 16-year-old switch-hitter, Salas is considered the top selection of the two, and with good reason. He is described as “the most advanced hitter in [the] class…who could eventually [become] a 30-30 player.”
Also 16, Sánchez shows “plus bat speed and good timing” in a frame that allows for projection of added strength and power. He bats from the left side and is expected to remain at short moving forward (as is Salas).
With these two potential additions, the Marlins would be following through on their commitment to be active in the international market. The front office has also repeatedly stated a preference for up-the-middle players like Salas and Sánchez.
An additional top prospect to keep a close eye on is SS Yidi Cappe. Ranked No. 7 in the Top 30, the tall Cuban isn’t directly linked to Miami.
However, MLB.com selected a photo of Cappe wearing a post-rebrand Marlins cap in the batter’s box. Also, his personal (private) Instagram account—@yidi_cappe01—stated “Professional Baseball Player of the Miami Marlins” in the bio as of Wednesday afternoon:
(Shortly after the Top 30 list was released, the account updated to remove this bio.)
Nothing can be officially announced until the new signing period opens, but a trio of above-average shortstops with 55+ hit tools would be a significant boost to a Marlins farm system currently lacking reliable bats.
The current signing period wraps up on June 15. It’s been a productive one for the franchise, featuring the consensus No. 1 international free agent, Victor Victor Mesa, and his young brother Victor Mesa Jr. Both have since joined the organization’s own Top 30 list, according to Pipeline.