Claimed off waivers from the Orioles at the end of last year, Jake Cave made an excellent early impression with the Phillies. He was outstanding during spring training, highlighted by a .462/.500/.827 slash line and 1.327 OPS.
As a result, Cave subsequently made the opening day roster. Unfortunately for him -- and the team -- this has been of the few high points of his Major League season.
The 30-year-old enjoyed a lot of success earlier in his career, specifically his first two years with the Twins. Since then however he's regressed, fully on display this season in Philadelphia.
Of particular note, Cave has just two home runs and 13 RBI in 33 games, and is on course for a single season career-low OPS, currently projected to be .559. This brings to mind scouting reports which previously cited his lack of power.
The question is, does the left-handed bat have it in himself to return to the production earlier in his career? If nothing else at least you know he'll put in the effort, with him being renowned for his work ethic and scrappiness.
For what it's worth, Cave's production in Triple-A this year would have been a good selling point for any potential trade. In fact, he's having his best season yet at this level.
The 2011 sixth round draft pick is projected to set new single-season highs, with a .684 slugging percentage and 1.113 OPS. He's already set a new personal best with 16 home runs, while his 49 RBI are just eight short of his current high.
Another selling point would have been the offer of club control. Cave has two more years of arbitration eligibility to go, before becoming a unrestricted free agent in 2026.