Join Jays From the Couch as we highlight the 2019 season of New Hampshire’s Vinny Capra and the Bluefield’s Miguel Hiraldo
2B/3B Vinny Capra
The former 20th round selection of the 2018 Draft, Vinny Capra split his rookie season between Vancouver and Lansing finding levels success at each stop. The organization felt he did enough in 25 games with the Lugnuts to bypass the Florida State League and begin the 2019 season in Double-A with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.
Capra started the year off great but struggled badly in July and August. In 52 1st half games, Vinny Capra batted .264 with 10 doubles, one triple, two home runs, 9 stolen bases, and a .325OBP. Unfortunately, in 58 2nd half games, Vinny Capra managed to bat just .195 with 10 doubles, one home run, 6 stolen bases, and a .266OBP.
Vinny hit his first Double-A homer on May 9th. May turned out to be the infielder’s best month, batting .272 with 5 doubles, one triple, one home run, 3 stolen bases, and a .326OBP. Capra would bat .250 and .253 in April and June before batting .184 and .188 in July and August. His OPB dropped in each month after posting a .351 mark in April.
Overall, Vinny Capra was a below-average offensive player in his first AA season. He posted a .280wOBA and 80wRC+ with a .080ISO and .281BABIP. He finished with a .229BA, 20 doubles, one triple, 3 home runs, 33RBI, 33/83 BB/K, 15SB, and 53 runs scored in 110GP.
Vinny spent 22 games batting leadoff for the Fisher Cats but the majority of his at-bats came as the club’s 9th hitter. He batted .228 with 8 doubles, a triple, and a HR batting 9th. He also batted 2nd (13GP), 3rd (1GP), 4th (11GP), 5th (5GP), 6th (6GP), 7th (2GP), and 8th (7GP).
The native of Melbourne, FL., posted a 19.1K% while posting 7.6BB%. Over the course of the season, per month, he struck out 12, 13, 14, 21, and 21 and walked 10, 6, 3, 9, and 5. Vinny generated 46.0FB% despite only hitting 3 home runs. He finished with a 35.7GB% and a 18.3LD%. The light-hitting infielder pulled 52.3% of the balls put in play with 22.3% going up the middle and 25.5% spent to the opposite field.
In the field, Capra split his time between 2B (45 games) and 3B (41 games). He also played 9 games at shortstop and 4 games in CF. He committed 5 errors with a .971FPCT at second base and 3 errors with a .967FPCT at third base.
Home: .242BA with 12 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 21RBI, and a .628OPS
Away: .216BA with 8 2B, 0 3B, 2HR, 12RBI, and .582OPS
Most Productive Game
On May 9th, Vinny Capra went deep for his first AA home run. He finished with 5 total bases, going 2-for-4 with a run scored, a single, a HR, and 2RBI. Capra had two 3-hit games, four 5TB games, two 3 run games. On May 10th, Capra had what I consider his 2nd most productive game of the year. He walked three times, scored three times, stolen a base, and finished 1-for-2.
Focusing on his 1st and 2nd half splits, one has to wonder what the cause was. Was he dealing with an injury or did the league figure him out? The slow decline in OBP and SLG, coupled with an increase in strikeouts over the course of the season suggest it was the latter of the two. In 2020, Capra will be back in a Fisher Cats uniform where a slow start could be a devastating blow to his professional career.
Currently ranked 9th in the Blue Jays system by MLB Pipeline, Miguel Hiraldo was singed for 750K on July 2nd, 2017. As a 17-yr-old International Free Agent, ‘scouts viewed him as the best overall hitter in his class’ as per MLBPipeline.com. Miguel split his rookie season between the Dominican Summer League (54GP) and the Gulf Coast League (10GP). He produced a .313/.381/.453 triple slash in the DSL and a .231/.250/.333 in the GCL.
I guess that was enough to have the young man out of Santiago, Dominican Republic, play his year 18 season with the Bluefield Blue Jays. Hiraldo spent all but one game on Bluefield’s roster. He finished the season with one game as a member of the Lansing Lugnuts. He went 1-for-4, a triple being his only hit.
The young had very little trouble adjusting to the Appalachian League, batting .238 with a double and two home runs in 11 games in June. He would bat .316 and .309 in July and August, collecting 9 doubles, a triple, and 2 home runs in July and 10 doubles, and 3 home runs in August.
Miggy earned Post-Season All-Star honors by batting .300 with 20 doubles, a triple, 7 home runs, 37RBI, and 11SB in 56GP. He tied for the league lead in doubles, 2nd in runs scored, 3rd in total bases, and 5th in batting average. He finished with an impressive .372wOBA and 126wRC+ while posting .181ISO and .328BABIP.
Miguel Hiraldo spent the majority of the season batting 2nd (27GP) and 3rd (18GP) with a couple of games batting in the lower half of the order. He was more successful hitting out of the 2-hole but only slight. As the clubs 2-hole hitter, Hiraldo batting .316 with a .862OPS compared to batting .299 with a .840OPS batting 3rd.
Miguel Hiraldo is a good job controlling the strike zone with a 14.1K% and a 5.5BB%. 42.9% of the ball Hiraldo put in play were groundball while 36.2% were flyballs. He finished with 20.9LD% while pulling 50.3%.
In the field, Miguel Hiraldo played 22 games at SS where he committed 9 errors for a .883FPCT. Hiraldo also played 29 games at 2nd base, committing 7 errors. In his one game with the Lugnuts, Hiraldo made a start at the keystone and committed a pair of errors.
Home: .276BA with 9 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 16RBI, and .764OPS
Away: .322BA with 11 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 21RBI, and .890OPS
LHP: .370/.414/.537 (54AB)
Most Productive Game
On August 7th, Miguel Hiraldo went 2-for-4 with 6 total bases, two runs scored, a double, a home run, a walk, and 5 RBI. He had one other 6TB game but had five 3-hit games and two 3RBI games.
Miguel Hiraldo made some solid strides in 2019. He was very young for the level and played against competition who just finished a season of college baseball. Despite that, he was not overmatched. I expect him to be wearing a Lugnuts uniform to open the 2020 season but which position he will play is more of a mystery. Many expect a move to 3rd is inevitable. With Leonardo Jimenez and Orelvis Martinez (fingers crossed) possibly joining Hiraldo in Lansing, that move could happen as early as 2020.
Featured image credit: R.Mueller
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