Jake Cave, OF
Here’s a blind resume:
Player A: 237 AB, .346/.429/.684, 1.113 OPS, 16 HR
Player B: 184 AB, .212/.272/.348, .620 OPS, 5 HR
Spoiler alert, they are both Jake Cave. Player A is Jake Cave in Triple-A and Player B is Jake Cave in the majors.
There’s clearly a stark difference between major league and Triple-A pitching, but seeing someone struggle so much against big league pitching and purely dominant Triple-A pitching is confounding. The Phillies have continued to give the 31-year-old outfielder chance after chance to bring his minor league magic to the majors, but it just didn’t happen in 2023.
The Phillies gave Cave a one-year deal worth $1 million this offseason, giving him, seemingly, one more opportunity to prove he can perform. Even though Cave is the fourth or even fifth outfielder on the depth chart, he needs to raise his performace in 2024 significantly.
The Phillies cannot afford to have a bench player who does not contribute with either his bat, speed, or glove. At this point, Cave is the dreaded Quad-A player, but hopefully, he comes out in 2024 swinging a hot bat. Otherwise, there's a real possibility the Phillies will replace him with one of the many waiting prospects in the minors.