Mariners' Capps Gears Up For His Final Challenge
SEATTLE—At 22, Carter Capps
is just a kid in baseball years. He's only
been a professional briefly, having been drafted in the third round out
of Mount Olive (N.C.) in 2011 as a hard-throwing righthander.
He's also just a kid in terms of being a pitcher. After all, he was a
catcher until his junior year in high school. But he has shown serious
skill, having jumped from low Class A to Double-A to Triple-A to the big
leagues in the last season and a half. He spent almost two months in
Seattle at the end of the 2012 season.
Now Capps faces the biggest test. He comes into spring training with a
chance to make the big league roster. The fact that he throws 100 mph
regularly and with some control suggests that he's going to be given
every chance to make it.
"When you look at his development, he's just a kid who can do anything
you ask him to do," farm director Chris Gwynn said. "He has the
deception and the power to just blow hitters away."
The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Capps has an unusual delivery in the way his arm
crosses he body during his release. As a result, hitters have less of a
chance to pick the ball up than they would against most pitchers.
"It's across the body, and the ball is on you before you know it," Gwynn
said. "It's unique how he does it, and it's a good weapon for him."
Capps went 2-3, 1.26 with 19 saves in 38 appearances out of Double-A
Jackson's bullpen last season before making one Triple-A appearance on
his way to joining Seattle, where he posted a 3.96 ERA in 18 appearances
with 28 strikeouts and 11 walks.
Capps has gotten the hang of coming out and throwing his breaking ball
for strikes. He balances out the fastball with an 89-91 mph changeup,
but his curve comes in at 75 mph and has a chance to drive hitters
"I think the pitcher you see now has a lot more confidence," Gwynn said.
"He's had some success and he's continued to learn. He's a competitor
and he's got a chance to make a great impression this spring."
• In looking toward the future, the Mariners scheduled four of their top
prospects—lefty James Paxton
, shortstop Nick Franklin
, second baseman
and catcher Mike Zunino
—to appear at the two-day Mariner
FanFest. All four have also been invited to big league spring training.
• Catcher Jesus Sucre
re-signed with Seattle and has been invited to
spring training. Sucre, 24, hit .271/.319/.315 in 321 at-bats for
Jackson last season.