It happened. His day has finally come. After being initially linked to the Marlins as far back as late 2019, Yiddi Cappe was forced to wait another six months to officially make his dream a reality. Today, Cappe, surrounded by his family, finally inked his contract with the Marlins who took him with their first pick in the international draft.
“It was just more of a dream,” Cappe said through an interpreter at his introductory press conference. “As a kid being part of Miami, there in Florida [are] a lot of Cubans. The community is really big. It’s just a dream. I always wanted to be a Marlin, and now I am, and it’s an honor.”
The 10th ranked international prospect, Cappe came to America as a 16-year-old in 2018. Cappe began playing against national competition and it didn’t take him long to start garnering the attention of scouts. Cappe could have been selected earlier than today but he originally hit the market at a time when most teams spent most of their pool money. According to reports, it is rumored that the Marlins offered Cappe a $3.5 million bonus to hold out until 2020 when bonus pools reset. Cappe apparently agreed. Since then, Yiddi has been working out at the Marlins’ academy in the Dominican Republic. The film we have seen of him is encouraging:
Latest round of BP from Marlins international free agent target Cuban SS Yiddi Cappe (wearing a face covering) pic.twitter.com/bGKCNN4jIa— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) May 7, 2020
The ultimate question on everyone’s mind is how good can Yiddi be? Where do we cap Cappe’s ceiling? Judging by what reports and our eyes while viewing the material we have seen on Yiddi tell us, that ceiling is pretty high. He has a solid straight-through approach, good bat speed, a good feel for the strike zone and can cover the plate in order to hit to all fields. The biggest question surrounding Yiddi for evaluators is can he make that translate to in-game action at the next level? A lanky kid and one of the older signees in this year’s class and a guy who hasn’t seen much in game action recently, some scouts limit their optimism and label Cappe a glove-first player at the next level. On the flip side, there are others who see a good offensive blueprint and plenty of time for Yiddi to grow in to his body, adding a better power element to his game
While the jury is very much still out and will remain out on Yiddi as he translates to minor league ball, he is well advanced for his age in terms of defensive mechanics. At the very least, he will become a perennial Gold Glove contender. He is also ahead of his years in terms of plate vision and strike zone knowledge. Swing paths to the ball are clean and his hands are quick, allowing his long limbs to get to the ball and put it in play to all fields. These traits should allow Yiddi to limit strikeouts and lengthen at bats. Cappe is already being praised for his bat to ball skills and ability to hit the ball hard, but with little uppercut to his swing and questions about his frame when fully grown, he projects best as a plus BA, plus OBP hitter with average speed.
Far beyond his age with so many tools already at his disposal, even if Cappe doesn’t ever come by much over-the-fence power, there is huge potential here. While skeptics remain regarding Yiddi’s build, age at time of selection and experience, he joins a Marlins system rich in middle infield talent. The $3.5 million man will undoubtedly be treated with care and not rushed in the slightest. While we still need to see him play, the comparison to Astros’ standout Carlos Correa, a 6’4”, 220, .276/.353/.480 career hitter six years into his career, is real and prevalent here.
The Marlins’ cap is on Yiddi and the show is about to start. After extended spring training, his big league career should begin in June 2021 in Jupiter with the GCL Marlins.