Complex league “teams” are highly unconventional. At their core, you’ll find plenty of newly signed professional baseball players, matriculating straight from high school or college, or in the case of international players, from the Dominican Summer League. But the FCL is also a waystation for veterans rehabbing from injuries and imports from independent circuits (Anthony Bender, Elieser Hernandez and Jordan Holloway are among the Marlins big leaguers who passed through in 2022). Unlike the DSL, in-season promotions are commonplace, so rosters lack continuity.
This review focuses on the FCL Marlins players who were actually there for developmental purposes.
FCL Marlins (31-24)
It didn’t take long for the toolsy Yiddi Cappe to outgrow the Florida Complex League. He homered six times despite playing in barely half of the team’s games, tying for the 2022 FCL lead. Defensively, Cappe split his workload between shortstop and third base. The 19-year-old was promoted to Low-A Jupiter on July 22.
Switch-hitting Venezuelan Ronald Hernández was the team’s primary catcher. His age-18 campaign was in many ways similar to what he had done in the DSL last year except for the sharp reduction in walks and run scored. He went just 2-for-21 against lefties. I still consider Hernández to be a Top 30 prospect in the Marlins organization.
The one true constant for the FCL Marlins was Jordan McCants. After struggling in his first taste of the league coming out of the 2021 MLB Draft, McCants boosted his wRC+ from 49 to 92. He easily led the team in games, runs scored, hits and triples. The former third-rounder is poised to move up to Low-A next spring.
Carlos Santiago (156 wRC+) and Javier Sanoja (143 wRC+) were both phenomenal in the FCL and ultimately played the majority of their summer with the Hammerheads. Sanoja struck out only six times in 124 plate appearances (4.8 K%). The video below is a Santiago grand slam courtesy of Fish On The Farm’s Alex Carver.
Way under the radar, outfielder Jhonny Melenciano deserves a shoutout. He produced poorly as a part-time player in the season’s opening weeks, but in 25 July/August games, he slashed .333/.442/.476 with nine stolen bases.
Dameivi Tineo dominated the FCL, including a 10-strikeout start on July 28 that earned him a promotion. The 6-foot-3 left-hander has a low-90s fastball that plays up because of the great extension he gets off the mound. He also throws a changeup and a slurvy breaking ball. Tineo just turned 19 during the season, so there’s ample time for his command to improve enough to be taken seriously as a long-term starter candidate.
Right-hander Jorge Mercedes had an eye-popping 41.7% strikeout rate. Signed way back in 2018, his professional debut was delayed until this season due to COVID and Tommy John surgery. Mercedes doesn’t often know where the ball is going (25.0 IP, 17 BB, 5 HBP, 6 WP), but his fastball velo routinely tops 100 miles per hour.
This was a lousy year for infielders Cristhian Rodríguez and Junior Sánchez, signed by the Marlins for big bonuses in 2018 and 2019, respectively. Both slugged under .200.