Spring training is just under one month away, with Philadelphia Phillies pitchers and catchers scheduled for their first workout on Feb. 14 in Clearwater. The Phillies announced on Jan. 18 that they have invited 15 non-roster players to participate in the major league camp next month.
The list of players invited to spring training includes some younger players looking to continue their progression to the majors like Mick Abel and Griff McGarry. The pitchers rank second and fifth, respectively, in the MLB Pipeline's last Phillies prospect rankings update in 2023. Considering both are highly valued young players, they'l likely begin 2024 with either the Lehigh Valley IronPigs in Triple-A or the Reading Fightin Phils in Double-A.
Some players with big-league experience on the list include José Ruiz, Ryan Burr, and Scott Kingery. Previous experience on a major league roster may give a player an advantage over someone younger with no prior experience above Triple-A.
So who has a shot at heading north with the big club this year? We've picked three players from the 15 invitees who could possibly sneak onto the Phillies' 2024 Opening Day roster.
Cal Stevenson, OF
Cal Stevenson has played briefly in the majors in each of the previous two seasons. He played in 23 games for the Oakland Athletics in 2023 and had a .167/.261/.217 stat line. He struggled to limit his strikeouts, finishing with 23.
The Athletics traded Stevenson to the San Francisco Giants in April. He was sent to their Triple-A club, the Sacramento River Cats. Following a 0-for-9 stint in the majors with San Francisco, the organization designated the outfielder for assignment on May 19. Philadelphia claimed him off of waivers on May 26 and optioned him to the IronPigs.
Stevenson had a .271/.437/.472 line including a .909 OPS in 56 contests with Lehigh Valley. He had 39 hits, 30 RBI, and 46 walks in 144 at-bats. If the Phillies don't sign another outfielder this offseason, the 27-year-old may make Philadelphia's Opening Day roster as a depth player at the position with a good spring training.