Nine times in franchise history, the Marlins have finished dead last in the National League East. Odds are that happens again in 2020, but the upcoming season ought to be uniquely compelling anyway because of all the projected top prospect debuts. This is when we really begin to find out whether the polarizing trades that dismantled their dynamic position player core were worth it.
On the other hand, as those potential stars graduate from prospect eligibility, the elite farm system that we currently take so much pride in is at risk of thinning out. That’s why it is necessary for the Marlins to constantly replenish their talent reserves, namely by drafting/signing amateur players.
Yiddi Cappe will be leading the next wave. The now-17-year-old Cuban shortstop is among the top eligible prospects of the 2019-20 international signing period. That period remains open through June 15, but reports from Baseball America and ESPN say he is waiting for the bonus pools to reset on July 2. The Marlins are expected to spend approximately $3.5 million on him.
In the meantime, Cappe has established residency in the Dominican Republic where he is training at the Marlins’ academy on the island. He recently shared this batting practice session via his private Instagram account (@yidi_cappe):
Removing any ambiguity from the situation, he has been directly tagging the team’s official Instagram account in his posts.
MLB Pipeline ranked Cappe seventh overall on their 2019-20 top prospects list (everybody else on the list has since signed with MLB organizations). They ambitiously compared his projectable 6-foot-3 frame to those of Carlos Correa and Derek Jeter.
As shown in another Instagram clip, the 175-pounder is already in the process of adding muscle mass:
To put Cappe in context, his scouting tool grades—Hit 55 | Power 55 | Run 55 | Arm 60 | Field 50—are nearly identical across the board to what Pipeline gives fellow shortstop Gunnar Henderson, who was their 27th-ranked MLB Draft prospect. He was ultimately selected No. 42 overall by the Orioles and is now the No. 7 prospect in Baltimore’s entire system. On July 2, Cappe will be the same age that Henderson was during the 2019 draft.
The Marlins have rapidly built up great depth at the shortstop position with standouts like Jazz Chisholm, José Devers, Nasim Nuñez and José Salas. They also have Osiris Johnson coming back from a leg injury and Demetrius Sims aiming to prove that his 2019 breakout was legitimate (among other notables).
Inevitably, several of them will fall short of reaching their ceilings or move down the defensive spectrum to less valuable positions. And yet, even the most conservative simulation would have the Marlins getting good major league level production from somebody throughout the next decade.
Let the countdown begin: only 175 days until Yiddi Cappe is officially a Fish.