With the Winter Meetings behind us, it’s time for me to take a look back at some of Toronto’s less heralded minor league prospects and how they faired in 2018.
Vinny Capra was born on July 7th, 1996 in Melbourne Florida. He played his college baseball for the University of Richmond and Eastern Florida State College before that.
In 2015, the 18-yr-old Capra played 43 games with the Eastern Florida State. He batted .319 with a .374 OBP, 7 doubles, a HR, 12 RBI, and 9 stolen bases. He transferred from the Jr College to the NCAA-1 Richmond Spiders in 2016.
He batted .355 with a .420 OBP with 14 doubles, a triple, 4 HR, and 5 stolen bases in 2017 but the club finished with a losing record. Capra helped the club to a winning record in 2018 with a .327 batting average, 13 doubles, 2 triples, 5 HR, 41 RBI, and 9 stolen bases.
The Blue Jays used the 596th pick of the 2018 Draft to select Vinny Capra in the 20th round. He signed for $1000 and played his first professional game on June 16th (0-for-2 with a walk) for the Vancouver Canadians. The 5-foot-8 infielder played 39 games for the C’s slashing a tidy .235/.344/.371.
During his time in the Northwest League, Capra struck out at a 20.2% (33) clip and walked 12.9% (21). He produced a .136 ISO with 10 doubles, a triple, and two home runs. Overall, Capra produced slightly above league average with a .329 wOBA and 103 wRC+.
In my opinion, Vinny Capra’s most productive game with the C’s came on July 3rd against the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes. Vinny was batting 2nd, behind Otto Lopez, and playing SS. Capra went 2-for-4 with a run scored, a double, and two runs batted in. Unfortunately, the C’s Randy Pondler allowed a run in the 9th inning to break a 4-4 tie.
Vinny Capra finished his C’s career on August 1st, going 0-for-4 with a walk and three strikeouts.
The right-handed hitting shortstop made his Lansing Lugnuts debut on August 3rd, going 2-for-4 with a run scored, a double, an RBI, and a strikeout against the South Bend Cubs.
As a member of the Lugnuts, Capra played every day, finishing with 25 Midwest League games under his belt. He slashed .266/.324/.351 while picking up 8 doubles and a stolen base. Capra struck out less (18.4%) but also walked less (7.8BB%). His BABIP increased from .282 to .333 but he hit for less power (.085 ISO). Overall, Capra’s .315 wOBA and 94 wRC+ was league average(ish).
Capra’s most productive game at A-Ball came on August 26th against the Dayton Dragons. Capra was batting 8th and playing SS. He finished 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles, a run batted in, a run scored, a walk, and a strikeout. The Lugs scored a run in the 8th to snap a 4-4 tie and tacked on 4 more runs in the 9th inning to pull away with a 9-5 win.
Capra played 64 games between two levels in his rookie season. All 64 games were at SS where he showed off a good glove, a good arm, and decent range (3.68 range factor). He committed 17 errors, turned 20 double plays, and finished with a .932 fielding percentage.
What to Expect in 2019
The 22-yr-old Capra has a chance to be the Lugnuts every day SS in 2019 but could be pushed by Jesus Severino who took over SS in Vancouver when Capra was promoted.
Unfortunately for Capra, the system has a number of quality SS options ahead of him (Logan Warmoth and Kevin Smith) and behind him (Jordan Groshans and Orelvis Martinez). Capra appears on track to becoming a utility infielder as early as the middle of 2019.
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Lover of all things Toronto Blue Jays. Blue Jays MiLB fanatic. I strive for average while stumbling onto above average. Rogers isn’t cheap. Baseball is a business. Your right, but I’m more right.