The annual shuffling of offseason prospect lists is well underway, with three new faces joining Baseball America's Top 10 Phillies prospects for 2024 (subscription required).
The usual suspects are involved in the updated rankings. Andrew Painter tops the list despite being sidelined for the 2024 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Outfielder Justin Crawford and Mick Abel round out the top three, but with Crawford leapfrogging the right-handed pitcher. Third baseman Aidan Miller jumps up to the four spot, with Griff McGarry being dropped out of the Top 10 altogether after a struggle of a season in 2023.
But those are all names you've heard before, and heard plenty about. What about the new names that have broken into the Top 10?
We have three exciting additions to the list to look at today.
Starlyn Caba, SS, No. 5 prospect
The first newcomer, Dominican Starlyn Caba, signed as a 17-year-old in January, receiving the biggest bonus of the Phillies international free agents. The switch-hitting shortstop never made it Stateside this year, as he began his Phillies career playing in the Dominican Summer League
Caba played 38 games before being shut down with an elbow injury, per Baseball America's report. In those 38 games, he looked the part of a No. 5 prospect, hitting .301/.423/.346. He doesn't have much home run power, as you can see from that .346 slugging percentage — and zero home runs — but the kid can flat-out hit.
The now 18-year-old piled up 40 hits and 28 walks (17.1 percent walk rate) in 164 plate appearances. He struck out only 16 times, good for a 9.8 percent strikeout rate. He scored 29 runs, drove in 17 and used his 60 grade speed to steal 16 bases.
Caba shows high-level defensive instincts, according to his Baseball America scouting report, and is one of the quickest infield defenders in the organization. He should be able to remain a shortstop due to his footwork and plus arm strength.
We should see Caba in the States in 2024, and he'll be an exciting player to follow as he gets moving through the Phillies development system.
Bryan Rincon, SS, No. 7 prospect
Another switch-hitting shortstop, Bryan Rincon, joins the Phillies Top 10 prospects at No. 7. Drafted out of a Pittsburgh high school in the 14th round in 2022, the 19-year-old played most of his games (81) in Low-A this past season before getting an 18-game stint at High-A.
He hit only .228 with the Clearwater Threshers but had a .738 OPS and smacked eight home runs with 23 stolen bases. He improved his average to .258 after his promotion to the Jersey Shore BlueClaws but saw his OPS drop to .686 in his brief time at the higher level.
Rincon impressed with his plate discipline and knowledge of the zone, posting a 16.0 percent walk rate and 17.9 percent strikeout rate over his 425 plate appearances between the two levels.
Baseball America projects Rincon with the ceiling of an everyday shortstop but is more likely to end up a super-utility player who provides defensive value.
Eduardo Tait, C, No. 9 prospect
Still just 17 years old, catcher Eduardo Tait spent his 2023 season in the Dominican Summer League after signing as an international free agent out of Panama.
The 6-foot backstop showed off his skills at the plate in his 44 games, hitting .333 with a .917 OPS, 33 RBI and three home runs. It was an impressive debut, considering he did it mostly as a 16-year-old and was 1.7 years younger than the average age of the league.
His scouting report shares that Tait showed off an 88.8 mph average exit velocity and a 92.9 mph 90th percentile exit velocity — better than most players his age or in the DSL.
The new No. 9 prospect should move to Florida in 2024 and start his journey through the Phillies development system. Baseball America projects his upside as an offense-first everyday catcher in the majors.