Mick Abel, Aidan Miller, and Justin Crawford are some of the more well-known Philadelphia Phillies prospects in the organization's minor league system. They are all anticipated to progress this year, beginning in spring training, given their respective talents.
What about some of the lesser-known young players who were not ranked in the club's Top 10 prospects in 2023? The Phillies have some other young players in their minor league system who could excel in spring training, which starts in a couple of weeks.
Here are four surprising prospects who will shine at Phillies spring training. While none of these prospects are on the 40-man roster or earned invites to big league camp, they might get the call to big league camp and make appearances in Grapefruit League action at some point this spring.
Starlyn Caba, SS
Starlyn Caba, the 13th-ranked player overall and fifth-ranked shortstop in the 2023 international amateur class, signed with the Phillies for $3 million last year. He played last year for the Dominican Summer League Phillies White team.
He posted a stat line of .301/.423/.346 with a .769 OPS in 38 contests. Caba stole 16 bases out of 22 attempts, demonstrating his speed. He has been compared to a young Francisco Lindor, according to the 17-year-old's bio on the Phillies MLB Pipeline top prospect page.
Now ranked by FanGraphs as the No. 3 Phillies prospect, Caba may begin 2024 with the rookie affiliate FCL Phillies. He has the tools to be a good shortstop defensively, with scouts grading his arm at a 50 and his fielding ability at a 55. The 17-year-old infielder will be an exciting player to continue to watch develop this season and over the next few years.
Ethan Wilson, OF
The Phillies 2021 second-round pick (49th overall), Ethan Wilson, demonstrated his improvements to hit for power last year compared to 2022. The Andalusia, Alabama native doubled his home run total with 17 homers in 2023 with the Reading Fightin Phils compared to eight combined with the Jersey Shore BlueClaws and Reading two years ago.
He demonstrated his talent as an extra base hitter with 22 doubles and 48 RBI in 2022, followed by 24 doubles and 61 RBI last year. However, Wilson has accumulated a lot of strikeouts, with 114 in 130 contests two years ago, followed by 110 in 114 games in 2023.
Wilson has played all three outfield positions in his career but has more playing experience at left and right field. In 84 career games in left, he has a .993 fielding percentage. He has 139 career games playing in right, with a .979 fielding percentage.
Eduardo Tait, C
Eduardo Tait, like Caba, is one of the other Phillies international signings from 2023. Philadelphia signed the catcher to a $90,000 contract and he had a strong year in the Dominican Summer League with the Phillies Red and White squads.
The Panama City, Panama native had a .331/.396/.554 line with a .950 OPS in 35 contests with Phillies Red. Defensively, Tait had 168 total chances, 147 putouts, 19 assists, and a fielding percentage of .988 in 147 1/3 innings.
In his nine games with Phillies White, he finished with a .346/.419/.346 slash line and an OPS of .765. The catcher played in 13 1/3 innings, had 15 total chances, 10 putouts, three assists, and a .867 fielding percentage. He is a talented young catcher who will be exciting to watch this spring and in the organization's minor league system this year.
Emaarion Boyd, OF
Emaarion Boyd is an outfielder who progressed last year in comparison to his debut in 2022. A noticeable difference in the 20-year-old's progression last year was the amount of stolen bases. Like Crawford, the Batesville, Mississippi, native has made an impression with his speed.
After stealing eight of nine bases with the FCL Phillies and Clearwater Threshers in 2022, he took a gigantic step forward in this category last season. Boyd stole 56 bases out of 74 attempts with the Threshers in 2023!
In 91 contests with Clearwater, he had a .262/.366/.324 line with an OPS of .690. He spent time playing all three outfield positions but played the majority in left field. Boyd played 53 of 83 contests in left and had 94 total chances, 91 putouts, one assist, and a .979 fielding percentage. If he can continue progressing as a hitter this spring, he could flourish based on his ability as a base stealer.