The next Miami Marlins affiliate we will get to in our 2022 season review is the Low-A Jupiter Hammerheads. The Low-A level was an interesting intersection between new draft picks, major leaguers on rehab assignments and some of the very best prospects in the organization. Also, many of the new rules coming to MLB in 2023 were in full effect for the Florida State League, including shift restrictions, the pitch clock and bigger bases.
Jupiter Hammerheads (63-66)
One of my favorite prospects in the organization is the Cuban native, Yiddi Cappe. He began the season with the FCL Marlins playing on the backfields of Roger Dean Stadium. He was the best player on that team, which is why he earned the promotion to Jupiter.
2022 Low-A Stats: .278/.299/.380/.679, 3 HR, 15 RBI
I believe that the key with Cappe has been consistency. He continued doing what he did in the FCL and at a pretty high rate. The main stat that jumps out was his low strikeout rate (13.2%), which was about twice as good as the overall Hammerheads strikeout rate.
It’s unclear when Cappe will move up to the next level. There is no rush—he just turned 20 years old—and his hitting dropped off a lot late in the season. He should make it to High-A around the middle of 2023 if he stays healthy and consistent.
The Marlins’ 2022 first-round pick had some ups and downs in his short stint with the Hammerheads. He showed flashes of being a solid hitter, hitting for pretty good contact and getting on base at a good rate. The doubt about Berry’s long-term impact is on the defensive side—he did not look comfortable at third base, which is the position that Miami drafted him to play.
Expect Jacob Berry to be playing in Beloit in 2023. The Marlins said they believed he could develop into a big leaguer quickly and they will promote him aggressively based on his college track record.
The Bahamas native was held back in extended spring training for the start of the 2022 season, but quickly made up for lost time. He slashed .349/.386/.476/.862 in May and stole 16 bases overall, tied for the highest total on the Hammerheads. Injuries limited him to 51 games.
Lewis is a switch-hitter with huge splits (.309/.396/.446/.842, 2 HR, 19 RBI as LHB; .130/.184/.130, 0 HR, 2 RBI as RHB). In the future, he might have to consider focusing all his attention on hitting from the left side.
Lewis is only 19. Like Cappe, he has a little more to prove before advancing to Beloit, but it wouldn’t be surprising if that promotion came early next year.
The Marlins’ 2021 top draft pick had himself a rather messy first full season as a professional.
Watson began the season on a tear, looking like one of the best offensive players in the Florida State League. However, his struggles to put his bat on the ball got worse and worse, and it seems he let that affect him mentally with how he behaved on the field and in the clubhouse. Several incidents led to Watson being removed from games and things reached a breaking point on July 1, when he disputed a check-swing call by pointing his bat towards the first base umpire as if he were shooting a gun. The Marlins suspended him internally and sent him away from the team. He returned to the Hammerheads on July 29 after a quick FCL rehab assignment.
Watson was better after he returned (.258/.349/.452/.801 in 24 games) especially in terms of reducing his strikeouts, but he only hit one home run during that portion of the summer. He earned FSL Player of the Week honors for the final week of the 2022 season, ending on a high note.
He will probably begin the 2023 season at the High-A level.
When healthy, Mack has been able to produce as expected offensively. Although he had almost a 30% K rate, he also showed a good eye at the plate and drew walks more often than any other Marlins prospect. That contributed to his super high .382 on-base percentage. It’s too soon to say for sure whether he has the defensive skill to remain at catcher for the rest of his career.
The Marlins are sending Mack to the Arizona Fall League to get him extra reps.
Torin Montgomery looks like a possible steal for the Marlins as their 14th-round draft pick. At the Low-A level, he hit 3 homers and 16 RBIs with a .336 OBP.
Beyond the numbers, he has great raw power. Listed at 6’3” and 230 pounds, his body type reminds me of Avisaíl García’s body type. This is a big player who will hit you bombs.
Montgomery will most certainly be beginning next season at the High-A level.
The majority of players from the 2022 Marlins draft class also made appearances for the Hammerheads from July-September, including Marcus Johnson, Jacob Miller, Karson Milbrandt and Josh White.
Midseason promotions of note: José Salas, Zach Zubia, Osiris Johnson, Luis Palacios, Gabe Bierman and Kyler Castillo