Checking in on the Phillies' recent top international signings

The new international signing period opens on Jan. 15, but how are the Phillies' most recent top international signings faring in the system?

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William Bergolla, 2022

In 2022, the Phillies used $2.05 million of their $5,179,700 base signing pool to ink Venezuelan shortstop William Bergolla, who was the No. 4 prospect on MLB Pipeline's Top 50 International Prospects list. He was ranked as the team's No. 10 prospect by Pipeline during the 2023 season.

As a 17-year-old, Bergolla impressed in his debut season in the Dominican Summer League, slashing 380/.470/.423 with 14 RBI and 18 runs scored in 24 games. He faced a little more adversity in his 55 games with the Low-A Clearwater Threshers in 2023, slashing .255/.351/.286, with 20 RBI and 26 runs scored.

He doesn't pack much power, without a home run in his two professional seasons, but the kid can flat-out hit. The left-handed hitter has shown his bat-to-ball skills with more walks than strikeouts in his two years in the Phillies organization. He ran a 13.3 percent walk rate and 3.6 percent strikeout rate in the DSL and followed that up with a 13.2 percent walk rate and 7.5 percent strikeout rate in the Florida State League last season.

FanGraphs ranks him as the team's No. 13 prospect going into the 2024 season but thinks his lack of athleticism will limit his ceiling.

Starlyn Caba, 2023

With their 2023 signing of Starlyn Caba, the "Phillies might have discovered the next great Dominican shortstop," according to MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez. The team used a $3 million chunk of their $4,644,000 signing pool to sign MLB Pipeline's No. 13 international prospect.

Touted as a future plus defender at short, and with top-tier contact skills, Caba slashed .301/.423/.346 with 17 RBI and 16 steals in 38 games in the Dominican Summer League in 2023. Per FanGraphs, his "3% swinging strike rate and 90% contact rate in 2023 were both among the best in all of the minor leagues."

The switch-hitting Caba hasn't shown home run power, but hits the ball hard gap to gap. But the biggest takeaway for the 18-year-old is his elite defense, "with excellent side-to-side range to go along with good footwork, soft hands and a good internal clock," per his Pipeline scouting report.

An elbow injury ended his season early, but he should make his stateside debut this year in Low-A Clearwater. After landing at No. 13 on the Phillies' MLB Pipeline prospect rankings last season, he's already up to No. 3 on FanGraphs, No. 4 on Baseball Prospectus, and No. 5 on Baseball America's (subscription required) rankings for 2024. He has also recently been picked as the Phillies' top international prospect by Pipeline.

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