Spring Training Breakout Games Day 3

Recapping yesterday's Spring Training Breakout Games

The Spring Breakout games have been a blast so far. We have seen everything from big home runs to professional debuts from young pitchers showing off excellent stuff. Although a few games got rained out on Friday, Saturday offered plenty of exciting action for baseball enthusiasts to follow. If you missed out on catching any of the action, fear not. This article recaps the most relevant performances from all seven games.

Be sure to head over to the Pitcher List Dynasty page for breakdowns from the first two days of action.


Spring Training Breakout Games Day 3


Atlanta Braves @ Boston Red Sox


What We Saw From The Top Prospects From Each Team:


Roman Anthony has flown up prospect rankings since this time last season. Anthony did not do anything super special in yesterday’s game, but he still managed to be productive. Anthony walked twice despite not recording a base hit. His excellent plate discipline should help him continue moving quickly through Boston’s system and become an excellent fantasy asset.

Owen Murphy had a bit of a strange outing. One of the Braves’ top pitching prospects, the team worked Murphy into the ground. He threw three innings, but that included two partial innings. Overall, the stuff looked good and the umpire seemed to be pinching Murphy a bit. Even still, he got himself into jams in two different innings and was unable to work out of them. At 20 years old, it is clear Murphy still has a long way to go in his development.


Which Prospects Struggled:


I am not sure we can say that Wikelman Gonzalez struggled since he pitched three scoreless innings. Even still, he finds himself in this section because he walked three batters. Gonzalez continues to struggle with walks which could lead to serious damage against tougher competition. The stuff is front-line, but the control issues continue to find their way into the conversation.

One player hovering around my top 100 prospects has been Ignacio (Nacho) Alvarez. Alvarez went 0-2 at the plate with a walk which is fine for a one-game sample size. The reason he finds himself here is the lack of impact on the ball. Game power is yet to become a part of his game and a few looks yesterday supports that.


Which Prospects Stood Out the Most:


Ceddanne Rafaela continues to impress no matter where he goes. Rafaela hit another home run yesterday, but it is more than just his bat. He makes defense look effortless in center field running down line drives and doubling runners off of second base. He is going to make the major league roster and continued his strong spring. One other quick note is Nick Yorke. Yorke crushed two balls yesterday in two plate appearances. His professional career has been filled with inconsistency, but this could be a sign of him turning the corner.

Even with a base running blunder that will not show up on the box score, Isaiah Drake is still the name people are talking about. He showed off big-time speed on the base paths and in the field while also walking and crushing a double. Drake was the team’s fifth-round draft pick last season and is still just 18 years old. He is a name I expect we will see start popping up more and more.


Philadelphia Phillies @ Detroit Tigers


What We Saw From The Top Prospects From Each Team:


Mick Abel got the start for the Phillies’ prospects yesterday. He showed off a lively fastball which averaged 95 on the gun. Although he did not surrender any walks, command in the zone continued to be an issue for Abel who left quite a few pitches out over the middle. The stuff continues to be there. If Abel can put it all together, he will make a solid number two/three Major League starter.

Jace Jung continues to feel like one of the more underrated prospects in baseball. The brother of Josh, Jace crushed two home runs yesterday. His swing looks effortless from the left side with plus power and a strong hit tool. Yesterday proved he should be ranked higher.


Which Prospects Struggled:


Eduardo Tait has been a popular breakout name amongst prospect communities. The young catcher got the start for Philadelphia and went hitless. While going hitless is not a big deal, Tait looked overmatched in the game. Going against some Detroit pitchers who possess significant experience, Tait showed off his lack of it. The future is bright for Tait, but the dynast community might need to pump the brakes a bit.

Wendell Perez got the start in the outfield yesterday. This is notable because he has typically played second base throughout his professional career. He wound up going 0-3 with two strikeouts before being subbed out of the game. Perez has flashed serious offensive potential but has been inconsistent over the past couple of seasons.


Which Prospects Stood Out the Most:


In every at-bat, Aiden Miller looked like he deserved to be there. He was patient, shortened up with two strikes, and looked like a player who is going to move quickly through the system. Miller generated one hit and a walk in his three plate appearances. He got the start at third base yesterday which is likely where he lands moving forward.

While Jace Jung was undoubtedly the most impressive, it is time to talk about somebody new. Josue Briceno seems to be the name popping up continuously in dynasty circles. Briceno smoked a 111 mph single yesterday (which was his only hit in three plate appearances). Briceno was excellent at the Complex Level last season and yesterday’s game is shedding more light on the kind of potential his bat has.


Toronto Blue Jays @ New York Yankees


What We Saw From The Top Prospects From Each Team:


So um, Spencer Jones is really good. Jones continued his incredible spring training with two home runs in the game yesterday. He had three batted balls over 104 mph and could very well become the next top prospect in baseball. His contact skills have been the most impressive improvement we have seen this spring. Get in on Jones now even with his increasing price.

Arjun Nimmala has not found himself going toward the top of FYPDs. He got the start at shortstop for Toronto’s team yesterday but went 0-3 with two strikeouts. Nimmala has a build that lends itself to projectability, but the Jays clearly have some work to do in order to help him reach is potential.


Which Prospects Struggled:


While the stuff looked solid, Blue Jays fourth-round pick Landen Maroudis did not have his best day. Maroudis failed to generate a single whiff on 25 pitches while only recording one out. He was charged with four earned runs on the day making his first professional appearance one to forget. Maroudis is still an interesting sleeper pick in FYPDs despite this rough outing.

After winning nine to one, there is not a lot to nit-pick on the Yankees’ side. Instead of forcing somebody into the conversation, let’s just talk about another player that impressed. Henry Lalane (Martin’s breakout pick for this year), was excellent in two innings of work. His changeup generated three whiffs on three pitches while his slider generated three on just five pitches. Lalane could be the next Yankees pitching prospect to grab the spotlight.


Which Prospects Stood Out the Most:


Addison Barger had a nice game, but I was incredibly impressed with Brandon Barriera. Barriera was the Jays first-round pick from a couple of years ago but has struggled to stay healthy early in his professional career. Yesterday proved that when on the mound, Barriera has front-line stuff. He leaned heavily on his slider and cutter showing off a deep arsenal. Despite two walks, I walked away from yesterday’s game confident in Barriera’s health and potential.

Spencer Jones was already hit on so let’s turn over to pitching. Brock Selvidge was lights out for the Yankees. He needed just 60 pitches to make it through four innings and was nearly perfect. He gave up just one hit while striking out eight. The slider was his most used pitch and his four-seam sat right around 93 mph. He lacks a true pitch to get right-handed batters out but is certainly a prospect worth keeping your eye on.


Tampa Bay Rays @ Minnesota Twins


What We Saw From The Top Prospects From Each Team:


Junior Caminero hit clean-up for the Rays generating one hit in three at-bats. My issue with Caminero has never been raw talent, but rather an issue with his swing mechanics. Caminero hits far too many ground balls and that continued yesterday. He made contact in all three plate appearances with launch angles of -16, -18, and -20 degrees. This is not what fantasy managers want to see for a player with incredible raw power.

There are a few different guys who could be considered the Twins’ top prospect but for this article let’s talk a bit about Brooks Lee. Lee is almost the polar opposite of Caminero. He is not the flashiest player, but he hits the ball with good launch angles and is more consistent. He also recorded one hit in three plate appearances yesterday. His one hit was a 103.5 mph single speaking to some of his upside.


Which Prospects Struggled:


Yesterday was certainly an outing to forget for Charlee Soto. Soto did not even make it through a full inning and finished the day with four runs charged to his line. The stuff is fantastic. A fastball that sits in the upper-90s with a wipeout slider. However, Soto also walked two batters and struggled to effectively locate his pitches. He could need more development than anticipated.

Carson Williams went 1-3 which is not bad on the stat sheet. However, Williams also struck out in both of his other plate appearances. Strikeouts have been a limiting factor throughout his professional career and it does not seem like he has solved this issue yet. Williams has great power and speed but his hit tool could be what holds him back.


Which Prospects Stood Out the Most:


This is an easy pick on the Rays side. Xavier Isaac made those who have been buying in on him proud yesterday. He went 3-3 at the plate including crushing two home runs. Isaac has tremendous raw power and seeing him hit three balls all with a launch angle above 10 degrees was certainly encouraging to see.

David Festa is the pitcher that everybody (including myself) needs to be higher on. Festa’s stuff was electric yesterday leading to three strikeouts in 1.2 innings. His two most used pitches were his slider and changeup generating six whiffs between the two. His four-seamer averaged 96 mph on the gun and profiles to be another plus offering. Get in on Festa now before it is too late.


Los Angeles Dodgers @ Los Angeles Angels


What We Saw From The Top Prospects From Each Team:


Figuring out who the Angels’ top prospect is can certainly be a challenge. Nelson Rada has seemed to claim that title and led off for the Angels yesterday. Rada has shown off a solid glove throughout Spring Training which could help him reach the major leagues faster than expected. He went 1-3 yesterday but will need to show more power development if he ever wants to reach his potential.

On the complete opposite side, the Dodgers have endless top prospects. Dalton Rushing is likely the most notable and he went 1-2 with a walk yesterday. Rushing has significant raw power that could turn him into a big-time fantasy asset. He just needs to show some improvements to his hit tool in order to reach his potential.


Which Prospects Struggled:


On the Angels side, prospect Jack Kochanowics surrendered six runs in 1.2 innings of work. Kochanowics was the team’s third-round pick back in 2019 and has been moving steadily through their system. His best skill is control, but he lacks the stuff to ever become an impactful fantasy asset. Yesterday’s outing does no favors to his value.

Jackson Ferris‘ name has generated buzz as a breakout candidate since being traded from Chicago to LA. Yesterday highlighted some of his potential but also emphasized the issue with that. Ferris needed 45 pitches to get through two innings of work while giving up two walks. The pure stuff is there for Ferris to be a front-line starter, but he needs to throw more strikes.


Which Prospects Stood Out the Most:


Caden Dana looked solid on the mound for the Angels. The team has struggled to produce much pitching talent from within, but Dana could change that trend. Dana posted strong strikeout rates throughout his first full professional season last year and combines plus breaking balls with a solid fastball. He struck out three batters across two innings of work yesterday.

Any batter that hits a home run instantly finds himself getting talked about. Thayron Liranzo was already talked about a lot entering the game and then he crushed a three-run home run. The power for Liranzo is impressive, but the hit tool is a serious concern. The home run was his only hit in five plate appearances and he struck out twice.


Cleveland Guardians @ Cincinnati Reds


Unfortunately, I was unable to catch any of this Spring Breakout game. From the box score, Kyle Manzardo continued his strong spring with two walks and a hit. He deserves to be on the Opening Day roster.

The Reds got a second Spring Breakout game and played some of the same players as before. Cam Collier and Sal Stewart both went hitless in six plate appearances.


Arizona D-Backs @ Colorado Rockies


What We Saw From The Top Prospects From Each Team:


Although I am disappointed that we will not see Jordan Lawlar on the Opening Day roster, it was a pleasure getting to see him play in this game. Lawlar hit two balls over 104 mph yesterday showing off his raw power. He is a plus player all the way around and should not be in Triple-A for very long. The future is bright here and this is a good time to buy low.

Adele Amador led off for the Rockies and went hitless in four plate appearances. Amador is known for being one of the most mature hitters in minor league baseball despite his young age. The issue has been consistently elevating the ball to tap into his raw power.


Which Prospects Struggled:


There are few players in minor league baseball with as much raw power as Ivan Melendez. However, he also has one of the worst hit tools in the minors. Melendez has struggled with strikeouts since being drafted and that has been no different this spring. He struck out in eight of his 15 plate appearances with the big-league club this spring and struck out once again yesterday.

Similarly, Hunter Goodman went 0-2 with two strikeouts yesterday. Goodman’s power got him to the major leagues last season but his strikeout rate will make it difficult for him to stick there. He has not shown any real improvements to his hit tool this spring.


Which Prospects Stood Out the Most:


There is not typically a lot to talk about with Rockies’ pitching prospects, but Seth Halvorsen turned some heads yesterday. The team’s seventh-round pick from last year’s draft gave up one run but showed off some really good stuff. His fastball sat in the upper 90s with a changeup and slider that both generated some whiffs. Pitching in Colorado is never a fun projection but Halverson is a name to keep an eye on.

Sticking with 2023 draft picks, Gino Groover turned heads yesterday. The second-round pick went 2-3 at the plate including a single that left the bat at 105.5 mph. Groover is 6’2″ and packs plenty of raw power in his bat. He could be a nice FYPD sleeper pick and turn into an offensive force at third base.

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

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