Spring Training Breakout Games Day 2

Recapping yesterday's Spring Training Breakout Games

The second day of spring breakout games was shaping up to be a great one, but the weather in Arizona had other plans. Prospectors were still able to watch top prospects like Dylan Crews, James Wood, Tink Hence, Masyn Winn and many more. The most impressive players from the day to me, were Tink Hence and Thomas White. In case you missed it, here’s a roundup of the two breakout games!

Be sure to head over to the Pitcher List Dynasty page for plenty more content from the team.


Spring Training Breakout Games Day 2


Miami Marlins @ St. Louis Cardinals


What We Saw From The Top Prospects From Each Team:


Tink Hence:


The top pitching prospect for the Cardinals came out and dominated. Two innings pitched, only allowing one hit and striking out three. Hence racked up a sword and plenty of swing and misses in his short outing. After 2023, I was a bit down on Hence due to the durability concerns and a rough stretch at Double-A. The batters that Hence faced from the Marlins farm were older and more advanced hitters. Aside from the performance, this is the best takeaway for Hence. Most likely starting 2024 in Springfield, Hence will look to dominate as a younger pitcher in his age-21 season. No question about the stuff, Hence just needs to put together a more durable season to reach his potential.


Thomas White:


White was taken after Noble Meyer in the 2023 MLB draft and has earned high praise. White came out and struck out three batters, two of which were Victor Scott II and Thomas Saggese. The command and control could use some refining but the stuff is above average across the board. White was drafted after Meyer but could jump him in prospect rankings soon. White is just 19 years old until September 2024, so there is no rush for development. The Marlins have a great track record of developing pitching prospects and White could be next.


Which Prospects Struggled:


Noble Meyer:


The first round selection in the 2023 MLB draft for Miami, Meyer struggled to command his pitches. Meyer was the guy I was most excited to see exactly for the reason of his command. Seven walks in his 11 innings in 2023 has pumped the breaks on a prospect with elite stuff. The poor command led to three walks, one of which was a bases loaded walk to Victor Scott II. It’s still too early for the dynasty value of Meyer to truly regress but the command concerns provide a question mark. Only 12 innings into his career, Meyer still has front of rotation potential. Command will need to be refined for Meyer to see the success equivalent to his stuff.


Thomas Saggese:


A breakout season for Saggese in 2023, a lot of eyes are on him to make an MLB debut soon. A bit of a disappointing game from him as he went 0-3 with two strikeouts. Coming off a season where he hit above .300 with 26 home runs and 12 steals, Saggese didn’t show off his ability in this outing. The value won’t change from an 0-3 day, but the strikeouts are disappointing as he tallied 144 of them last season.


Which Prospects Stood Out the Most:


Tink Hence:


Tink Hence started this game and dominated from the jump. The stuff looked plus as he tallied three strikeouts, and the confidence was there as well. Hence displayed a great arsenal of pitches, including his big breaking ball that he got a strikeout with. The Tink Hence hype fell off a little this off-season due to durability concerns, but this brief outing shows the potential. This is a perfect outing to get Tink Hence back into top-10 pitching prospect discussions.


Thomas White:


White looked great in his one inning of work striking out three of the four batters faced. He showed off his 81 MPH curveball against Victor Scott II to start his day with a strikeout. The Thomas White dynasty stock rose exponentially after this dominant inning. Prior to this outing, White was a name thrown around as a sleeper prospect. After this one inning, the potential is very clear and should make White a must grab prospect in dynasty.


Masyn Winn:


Masyn Winn looked overly advanced and confident for this game. It was confirmed mid-game that Winn will be the everyday short stop at the MLB level and it was easy to see why. Patient at the plate, Winn worked two walks and stole a base. The biggest thing that stuck out to me was how confident and comfortable Winn was out there. After a rough start to his major league career, Winn should ease the concerns that he belongs as the Cardinals everyday shortstop. He did make an error and go 0-1, but there is no doubt he’s ready for St. Louis.


Washington Nationals @ New York Mets


What We Saw From The Top Prospects From Each Team:


Dylan Crews:


Arguably the top prospect in this game, Crews started off the game with a single. A line drive up the middle into centerfield, Crews showed off his great hit tool. Crews has been unfairly judged since the minute he was drafted as the prospect hype most likely was too high. The monster start from Wyatt Langford has contrasted with the average start to a career for Crews. Still a plus hitter, Crews showed it with the beautiful level swing to start the game.

Personally, I think Crews profiles more as a No. 1 or 2 hitter compared to a middle of the order hitter. Much like the swing of Noelvi Marte, it’s built for plus contact. That being said, there is still 20-20 upside for Crews with a phenomenal average and OBP. Not a single Nationals fan will complain when the lineup starts with CJ Abrams, Dylan Crews and James Wood in July 2024.


Ryan Clifford:


Sent over in the Justin Verlander trade last year, Clifford struggled in his Mets debut. His spring breakout performance showed how promising the bat is. Clifford hit an opposite field double in his first at bat that scored trade partner Drew Gilbert. He managed to hit this off of 24-year-old Jackson Rutledge, smoking the 95 MPH fastball to left field. Clifford showed the strength that comes from his swing that can lead to 20+ home runs yearly. In his second at-bat, he drew a walk. Clifford walked at a 12.5 percent rate in 2023, adding mid to high .300 OBP value to his profile. Towards the top of the Mets new promising crop of prospects, Clifford continued to raise his stock after this display of pop and patience.


Which Prospects Struggled:


Jett Williams:


Without a doubt one of the biggest prospect risers in 2023, Jett Williams didn’t display that in the breakout game. An 0-2 game with two strikeouts is not very typical for Jett. The prospect hype on Williams should still be as high as it was coming into this game as he walks and steals at an elite clip. It would have been fun to see him get on and attempt to steal a base but he faced two 24-year-old pitchers in this game. During the broadcast, there was a lot of positive talk about on and off the field aspects for Jett. The Mets should be very excited with the early start to his career.


James Wood:


After an absolute scorching spring training, it would have been fun to see Wood continue that here. Unfortunately, he went 0-2 with a strikeout. This has zero impact on the overall future for Wood, but a home run or multi-hit day would have been fun to overreact to. Wood could force his way to Washington by the All-Star break if he continues his hot display from spring training. A .324 average, .457 on-base percentage with three home runs and three steals is as good of a spring he can have. The Nationals have a very fun outfield crop coming in the next year.


Jarlin Susana:


A very live arm, Susana struggled to throw any of his pitches for strikes in 2023. This remained true in his breakout performance. He was easily hitting 101-103 MPH with his fastball in what looked like a low-effort delivery. Susana pitched one inning where he gave up three hits, two earned runs, walked a batter and struck out two batters. The single that plated two runs was a weak fly ball that landed behind the infield that was in on the grass. Only one walk but Susana struggled to find himself in advantageous counts. The stock dropped a lot after 2023 so this won’t impact it too much. That being said, until Susana throws strikes consistently, he can’t be trusted.


Which Prospects Stood Out the Most:


Cole Henry:


Henry is a pitcher that has been plagued by arm injuries of late but the stuff looked great in his one inning. Henry is 24 years old so he has an age advantage but not necessarily an experience one. He faced and struck out three batters in Alex Ramirez, Colin Houck, and Jesus Baez. Three of the top hitting prospects for the Mets, Henry was throwing his 96 MPH fastball by them. He got Houck to strike out on an MPH slider that looked great. Henry is an underrated and somewhat forgotten about arm that might not spend more than 50 innings in the minor league system in 2024. This performance got his name back out there and could help the Nationals very soon.


Travis Sykora:


Sykora was a third round pick in the 2023 MLB draft and his breakout game debut was fantastic. The stuff was great as he lived around 96-97 MPH with his fastball and it jumped on hitters. He was able to post one strikeout and retire both Drew Gilbert and Marco Vargas as well. There is a lot of projection with Sykora but the big bodied prospect should gain some interest after this performance. The stuff is above average, it’ll be about how well he commands it. If Sykora and Jarlin Susana can both make it to Washington, they’ll be two electric arms to watch.


Brandon Sproat:


Plus stuff has always been a part of the game for Sproat and he put that on display in his breakout inning. He struck out two batters in one inning with a 98 MPH fastball and an 89 MPH slider. The command of his pitches looked good but we’ll need to see how this plays over longer outings. Sproat put his name on the map with the stuff he showed in his breakout game and could move fast. There’s a good chance the Mets start him at High-A because he is 23 years old. Either way Sproat should tally plenty of strikeouts with the mix of pitches he showed against the Nationals.


Adapted by Kurt Wasemiller (@KUWasemiller on Twitter / @kurt_player02 on Instagram)

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