4 surprise players who’ve dominated Phillies spring training
By Tim Boyle
3) Phillies outfielder Jake Cave has been more than the hitter we crave
Knowing they’d be without Bryce Harper, adding some outfield depth was of some utmost importance to the Phillies this offseason. Jake Cave got picked up off of waivers and the expectation was he could make the team as a fifth outfielder or spend much of the season on the farm awaiting his chance. Based on his spring numbers, the Phillies should find a way to circumnavigate the rules and bat him third, fourth, and fifth.
Cave is the owner of a .432/.488/.838 slash line this spring in 41 plate appearances. This includes 3 doubles, 3 triples, and 2 home runs to go with his 11 RBI. A lifetime .235/.297/.411 hitter, it’s outlandishly productive for Cave.
It’s a shame these games don’t count because if they did the Phillies would be patting themselves on the back right now. He has been on a down swing for the last three seasons after two productive years with the Minnesota Twins in 2018 and 2019. Cave’s MLB highs in those last three seasons all came in 2020 when he slashed .221/.285/.389. This isn’t good enough for regular major league action.
Maybe Cave has tapped into something else in his swing. The triples seem to be what is most surprising, however, in only 1015 major league plate appearances he does have 10 of them which is surprisingly high for a guy not known for quick feet.