Phillies top prospect gets another glowing review after his first spring stateside

Starlyn Caba, one of the Phillies' youngest prospects, continues to make a positive impression in the short time he has been playing in America.

Philadelphia Phillies v Cleveland Guardians
Philadelphia Phillies v Cleveland Guardians / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages
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Starlyn Caba, one of the most intriguing young players in the Philadelphia Phillies prospect system, continues to receive positive reviews following his first spring training in the United States. Following his first minor league season in the Dominican Summer League, he made a substantial rise in the team's 2024 prospect rankings.

Geoff Pontes of Baseball America recently posted a glowing review of the young shortstop's impressive spring. Caba hasn't cracked MLB Pipeline's Top 100 prospect list yet, but with his defense and ability with the bat, should be there soon.

Caba is already one of the top players in the Phillies prospects system

The 18-year-old infielder debuted in the Phillies' Top 30 prospects in 2023, ranked No. 23. Last year with the Dominican Summer Phillies, Caba had a stat line of .301/.423/.346 with an OPS of .769 in 133 at-bats in 38 contests. He has risen in the club's prospect rankings to be the No. 5 prospect in 2024.

According to The Athletic's Matt Gelb, Caba could make his debut with the Clearwater Threshers sometime during 2024 (subscription required). The shortstop is recovering from Tommy John surgery following an injury to his non-throwing elbow he sustained last year.

Preston Mattingly, the team's assistant general manager who supervises the prospect system, said the following about Caba: "He’s got to get stronger. For a young kid who just turned 18 years old, he’s very fundamentally sound. And that’s saying something because he could be flashy if he wanted to because this guy’s special defensively.”

Caba's current estimated time of arrival to the majors is 2027. Jim Callis, Sam Dykstra, and Jonathan Mayo previously wrote a piece for MLB.com predicting each team's top prospect in 2026. The shortstop is projected to be the Phillies' top-ranked prospect in two years.

With shortstop Trea Turner signed until the end of the 2033 season, where does that leave Caba's future with the Phillies? If he continues to develop into one of Philadelphia's elite prospects, it will be a difficult decision for the organization to trade him if there is not an open spot for him defensively. The youngster has a great work ethic and has demonstrated he wants to get better to reach and be successful in the major leagues.

If the team wants him to learn another position so they can keep him, that could be to their advantage. However, there is still a significant amount of time until Caba's projected arrival time to the majors for a decision to be made. For the next few years, it will be exciting to watch him develop in the Phillies farm system.

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