Exciting young Phillies catching prospect anointed the new 'Chooch'

No. 9 prospect Eduardo Tait is quickly making a name for himself, drawing comparisons to legendary Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz.

Philadelphia Phillies catcher Carlos "Chooch" Ruiz
Philadelphia Phillies catcher Carlos "Chooch" Ruiz / Elsa/GettyImages
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The Philadelphia Phillies' top prospects are getting ready to lace them up for the Spring Breakout game against the Detroit Tigers in Lakeland on Saturday, March 16. With a farm system that has started to show vast improvement in recent years, the opportunity to see some of the organization's top prospects take the field highlights one of the best ideas MLB has come up with in a while.

Eight of the Phillies' top 10 prospects will play in the inaugural Spring Breakout game this weekend, including an exciting young catcher. We're talking about 17-year-old No. 9 prospect Eduardo Tait. The young catcher from Panama impressed with the bat in his first professional season in 2023. While playing for two teams in the Dominican Summer League, Tait hit .333 with 49 hits, three home runs, and 36 RBI in 165 at-bats.

Between his Panamanian roots and early success as a hitter in organized baseball, comparisons to a former Phillies catcher who also comes from Panama have become understandably unavoidable. Whenever your name is mentioned in the same breath as Carlos Ruiz, you know your probably headed on the right track.

Speaking to Phillies insider Todd Zolecki from MLB.com, Tait has no problems with the comparisons with the legendary catcher known by Phillies fans as "Chooch."

“It’s definitely an honor to be mentioned with him,”said Tait per Zolecki. “I like it. He played for the Phillies. He’s a Phillies legend. I remember he told me, don’t stop grinding, just keep doing what I’m doing. He said, ‘I can’t wait to see you play in the big leagues.’”

That kind of support could go a long way, as the 17-year-old is likely to become the youngest Phillies minor leaguer to play in Single-A ball since outfielder Carlos Tocci in 2013. While that's certainly impressive for the still developing Tait, assistant general manager of player development Preston Mattingly is excited about what Tait's early success could mean for the Phillies organization in the future.

“He’s [Tait] somebody I think every Phillies fan should know about,” explained Mattingly per Zolecki. “Just start with his work ethic. He’s an extremely intelligent kid. I’m calling him a kid because he still is. He has a chance to have a hit-power combo. And obviously the catching position is a very difficult place to find offense. So a guy like that who works very hard, who’s very smart and who has a chance to hit and hit for power is why we like him so much.”

Watch the Phillies' Spring Breakout game live stream on That Ball's Outta Here

The Phillies' top prospects will be on full display when they take on the very best in the Detroit Tigers organization this Saturday. The game can be streamed live on That Ball's Outta Here at 1:05 p.m. ET. The Phillies roster for this game is stacked, with 20 out of MLB Pipeline's Top 30 Phillies prospects slated to make an appearance.

Stream Phillies' Spring Breakout on That Ball's Outta Here. dark. WATCH. Spring Breakout stream

Meanwhile, the Phillies are now 13 days away from the home opener on March 28 when they face off at Citizens Bank Park against the rival Atlanta Braves. The wait for baseball to return is almost over.

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