ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BVM) — Francesco Capocci grew up being homeschooled up until his eighth-grade year. While the expectation may have been that he would be scared to make the transition, it was the opposite. With Capocci already knowing a decent amount of kids through the local baseball circuit, it made it much easier.
“I’ve always kind of used baseball as an outlet to make friends and be social,” Capocci said. “A lot of the kids are just trying to achieve the same goal as I am.”
Capocci’s love of the game stemmed from the uniqueness of it, embracing the common frustration that comes along with the sport.
“It’s such a hard game to fall in love with just because there is so much failure involved,” Capocci said. “I really think that’s what makes people not want to play it. But I also think that’s what makes people want to be a lot better at it.”
Capocci’s attitude has made him as coveted as he is. Capocci is ranked as the No. 97 prospect in the 2023 MLB Draft according to Prospects Live and is committed to play at North Carolina.
He stands at 6-foot-4, 195 pounds for Denmark High School in Alpharetta, Georgia, and can hit up to 96 mph from the right side. But for people around Capocci, it was evident early on that he was different from the rest. As a 14-year-old he was touching 88 mph on the radar gun.
Capocci was already receiving some college attention as a sophomore, but that increased tenfold when he gained 30 pounds in a 12–month span, boosting his fastball velocity to the mid-90s.
“I really started putting in the work that was necessary to become the player that I am today,” Capocci said. “It took a lot. I’ve given up a lot of different things to do that. But on the same note, I’m also happy that I did that.”
As Capocci’s recruitment heated up, it made his love of the game and desire to get better even stronger.
“When I started getting phone calls, it started making me want more,” Capocci said. “It started making me want to play this game professionally. It started making me really strive to be the best. Honestly, that’s all that has become important to me, is just being the best.”
In August 2021, Capocci announced his commitment to the Tar Heel baseball program.
— Francesco Capocci (@francesco_c36) August 3, 2021
“North Carolina was always a school I really loved,” Capocci said. “When I started getting recruited, I would literally dream of having a phone call with North Carolina.
Capocci talked to the Tar Heel coaching staff for the first time in March 2021 and it could not have gone any better. From there on out, his communication with the program made it an easy decision for him.
“They were the school that really stood out to me, because they really, really wanted me,” Capocci said. “They would call me, ask me how I was doing, come see my games, invite me to come see the campus. Coach Forbes told me they would do anything possible to get me over there. That was really, really special to me.”
With Capocci’s baseball career looking bright, he is not only focused on himself but also the people around him that he can help.
“When all is said and done, I want to continue to help people,” Capocci said. “I want to strive to help people mentally. People don’t understand the mental side of baseball and how much it can really hurt you and the toll it can take on you. I just want to help kids understand how important it is to keep working and keep going because it is going to happen. You’re going to get an opportunity eventually.”